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16 JUN193I 




tfotfc, USacon & ?am 



January, 1909— January, 1910 






The Year i 

Rating of Generators and Motors . . . ., -. . 2 

Valuation of Public Service Franchises 2 

Vacuum Cleaning Systems 3 

Recording Operating Costs 4 

The Chicago Electrical Show 4 

The Model Operation of an Isolated Plant 5 

Underground Lines 13 

Power Factor Measured by Wattmeter Readings 20 

Buying on Chemical Specifications 21 

Questions and Answers 22 

Westinghouse Electric 23 

The Electrical Show 23 

New Westinghouse Nernst Chandeliers 23 

Review of the Technical Press 24 

News Notes 25 

Universal Insulator Supports 26 

Personal 26 

Catalogue Notes 26 


Corporation Publicity 27 

New Transit Legislation 27 

The Ultimate Factor 28 

Re-rating of Turbo-Generators ' 29 

The Triumph of "Wireless" 30 

Substations 31 

Computing Boiler Horse Power 38 

The St. Regis Operating Engineer Training School 40 

Public Service Commission Reports 45 

Resolutions on the Death of Dr. A. C. Perrine 46 

General News 47 

A Neat Lighting Outfit 47 

Questions and Answers 48 

Engines and Generators in the Manufacture of Chocolate. ... 49 

Advertising with Flaming Arc Lamps 49 

The Chicago Electrical Show 50 


A Bit to Bore Square Holes 51 

New Feed Water Regulators 51 

The January Technical Press 52 


Preliminary Reports on Electrical Industries 53 

Edwin Reynolds 53-. 

Western Representation in A. I. E. E. Management 54 

The Unit Cost 54 

The Sovereignty of Water-Power 55 

The Patent Court 56 

Transformation Wrinkles 57 

Comparative Cost of Power Production 63, 

Alaska-Yukon Exposition 64 

Notes on Switchboard Instruments 65 

The Workshop and the Schools 68" 

Why the Meter Reads High 69 

Operating Performance of Some Isolated Plants 70 

Hydroelectric Power Plant of West Point Mfg. Co 71 

General News 72 

Questions and Answers 74 

The 110,000-Volt Transmission Line of the Grand Rapids 

Muskegon Power Co 75 

Drying Transformer Oil 75 

The February Technical Press 77 

A Combination Volt-Ammeter 77 

News Notes 78 

Southern Electrical Exposition 79 

Personal 8» 

A Handy Magnet 8a 

Book Review 80 


Concrete Poles 81 

A New Method of Industrial Training 82 

Transformers S3. 

Reinforced Concrete in Electrical Transmission Lines 88- 



The Plant Owner's and the Operating Engineer's Problem. . 94 

Tests of Electric Meters in New York City 99 

A High-Tension Direct-Current Electric Railway 102 

Telephone Booth Fans 103 

Lineolite Desk Lamps 103 

New Catalogues 104 

Personal 104 

Obituary 104 


Core vs. Shell Transformers 105 

Exhaust Steam Turbines 105 

The Relation Between Engine Room and School Room, and 

How to Attain It 106 

Boiler- Room Economy 107 

The Limitations of Party Transformer Distribution 108 

Water Treatment by Electricity in 

Foundations and the Use of Concrete 112 

Report of the Western Electric Co • 115 

Lamp Signals in the Boiler-Room 115 

Electric Headlights in North Carolina 115 

Curtis Steam Turbines for Large Power Stations 116 

New Electrical Heating Device 119 

An Improved Type of Electric Heater 1 19 

A Model Aluminum Lightning Arrester Installation 120 

A New Portable Ventilating Set 121 

Motor-Driven Concrete Mixer in Record Performance 122 

Movement Against Gasolene in Colorado 122 

An Insulating Transformer for Telephone Lines 123 

A New Flat Iron 124 

News Notes 124 




Current Limiting Reactance Coils 125 

A Boiler Wreck 127 

Underground Transmission 127 

National Electric Light Association 127 

The Low-Pressure Turbine 127 

The Production of Mica in the United States in 1908 128 

Production of Copper in 1908 128 

Refined Copper 128 

The Use of Reactance Coils in Generating Stations 129 

Practical Design of Reactances Coils for Turbo-Generators. . 130 
The Difficulties of Underground Transmission for Trunk- 
Line Electrification 133 


Low-Pressure Steam Turbines 134 

Electrostatic Instruments 142 

News Notes 145 

The Regenerative Flame Lamp 146 

Smokeless Combustion of Coal in Boiler Plants 149 

The Practical Aspect of Recent Transformer Improvements. . 151 

Sufficiency of Demand for Electricity 153 

Questions and Answers 154 


Batteries for Railroads 155 

The Small Central Station 156 

Meters 157 

Investigating the Cause of Breakage of High-Tension Glass 

Insulators 163 

Some Features of Condenser and Cooling Tower Design and 

Operation 164 

Distributing Transformers 168 

Residence Lighting in Detroit 173 

The Supplying of Electric Current to Other Towns from a 

Centrally Located Station 174 

Factors that Should be Considered in Making Street Light- 
ing Contracts 175 

Lifting Magnets 177 

New Holophane Clusters 182 

Cleaning the Water Leg 182 

A New Tungsten Wrinkle 183 

The Compensare 183 

Important Development in Bituminous Gas Producers 183 

The New 200-250- Volt Tungsten Lamps 184 

Western Electric Reports 185 

Hudson-Fulton Illumination 185 


The Limits of Power Transmission 185 

The Turbine Has Arrived 186 

Some Recent Developments in Electrical Apparatus 187 

The Principles of Illumination 192 

Meters 193 

Engine-Robm Management 201 

Meter Testing 205 

Results of Purchasing Coal under United States Government 

Specifications 209 

Compilation of Load Factors 212 

New Line of Motor Starts 214 

Rail Handling Magnets at Gary 215 





The Hard-Drawn Copper Specifications 215 

Economy vs. Dirt 210 

Electric Power 217 

Engineering Responsibility .- 222 

The Advantage of Group or Individual Drive in Certain In- 
stallations 225 

Science in America 230 

The Effect of Various Maintenance Conditions on the Effi- 
ciency of Illumination 232 

Meters 235 

Book Review 243 

New 200-250- Volt Tungsten Lamps 243 

The New Spring Holder 243 

Jeffrey Storage Battery 244 

Gas Engine Installations Aggregating 210,000 Horse Power. . 244 

Allis-Chalmers' Orders 244 

News Notes • 2 45 

New Holophane Clusters 246 

The Compensare 246 


An Apology to the Rubber-Covered Wire Engineers' Asso- 
ciation 2 47 

A Swiss Power Plant 249 

The Tungsten Lamp Situation in Various Cities 256 

The Advantages to Electric Companies of Central Station 

Steam Heating 269 

Prepayment Meters 273 

Hudson-Fulton Celebration 275 

High-Voltage Tungsten System in Residential Lighting 277 

Denver Electric Railway Convention 278 

Theodore Inslee Jones 279 

Sewing-Machine Motors 279 

Business Note '. 2 %° 

A New Speer Brush 280 

Personal 28 ° 

News Notes • 28 ° 

Hydroelectric Plant of the West Point Mfg. Co 281 

The General Electric Company's Awards at Alaska-Yukon- 
Pacific Exposition 281 

A New Gas Engine Company 281 


Hydroelectric Plants 281 

The Institute and Its Meetings 281 

Production of Copper in 1908 282 

Steam Pipe Coloring 282 

Book Review 282 

The Principles of Shades and Reflectors 283 

Efficiency of Motor Generators vs. Synchronous Converters. . 286 
Factors that Should be Considered in Making Street Lighting 

Contracts ; . . . 293 

Westinghouse Type C Three-phase Transformers 294 

Relation of Electric Vehicles to Central Station Business 295 

Tests of Moore Tube Lighting Installation in New York Post 

Office 296 

Recent Developments in Secondary Distribution Work 297 

The Present Status of the Arc Lamp for Street and Interior 

Illumination 303 

Chicago Electric Show 305 

Personal 305 

News Notes 305 

A Correction 305 


Electrical Working of the Mersey Railway 305 

Electrical Operation and Permanent Way Maintenance 305 

Western Electric-General Electric Agreement 306 

Distant Control Switchgear 307 

The Equipment and Working Results of the Mersey Railway 

under Steam and under Electric Traction 319 

Cooling Towers for Steam and Gas Power Plants 328 

The Western Electrical and Gas Directory. 333 

The Effect of Electrical Operation on the Permanent Way 

Maintenance of Railways 334 

New Design of Engine to Produce Uniform Torque 337 

Western Electric-General Electric Agreement 339 

Intensified Arc Lamp 339 

A Radical Improvement in Jet Condensers 340 

A New Printing-Press Motor Controller 341 

New Cutler-Hammer Factory 342 

News Notes 343 

Personal 343 

Catalogue Notes 343 


Volume XL. Number 1. 

$1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy 

New York, January, 1909 

The Electrical Age Co. 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH. Pres. C. A. HOPE. Sec. andTreas. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connecting all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, $1.00. 

Canada,~$1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


Irfserlionof new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the following issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 

The Year 

It has been the fashion to refer to 
1908 as a year of depression. A close 
analysis of the year's records in those 
lines of activity which are of special 
interest to our readers does not ex- 
actly justify this. There is a wide 
difference between actual depression 
and non-expansion. We have been so 
used, since the beginning of the pres- 
ent century, to seeing a huge yearly 
growth of the various electrical in- 
dustries that any failure to realize the 
rate of growth looks to us like an ac- 
tual setback. 

If we shift the point of view and 
look at 1908 as compared to preceding 
years, it must be said that the utmost 
that can be said against it is that it 
showed no appreciable growth. There 
are, however, exceptions to this, taken 
both ways. Certain traction systems 
have continued to show a substantial 
increase in traffic. Many telephone 
companies report the largest earnings 
in their history. On the other hand, 
the manufacturing interests really 
were set back, as would be natural 
under the conditions. But even these 
have shown a substantial upward 
movement throughout the year, par- 
ticularly since the presidential elec- 
tion. It is doubtful if the tariff re- 
vision agitation, which has checked 
the growth of business in some lines 
of manufacturing will have any pro- 
nounced effect on the electrical manu- 
facturing interests. It is unlikely that 
even with electrical machinery and ap- 
pliances on the free list, the foreign 
manufacturer (who is principally Ger- 
man in this instance) would be able 
to seriously compete with the Ameri- 
cans in the home market. In cases 
where the ratings were on the same 

basis, American manufacturers have 
usually been able to meet foreigners 
in the markets of the world, so far as 
price is concerned. 

In general, the year closed with a 
bright outlook for the resumption of 
expansion all along the line, and busi- 
ness in 1909 is, in most quarters, ex- 
pected to be a record-breaker. 

Turning to the technical and scien- 
tific fields, it is pleasing to note that 
in 1908 the advance, which business 
and industry lacked, has been, in gen- 
eral, fully maintained. In the oldest 
branch of electric work, the telegraph, 
the movement has been along the 
lines of improving the working capac- 
ity of the current by the introduction 
of the several approved forms of high- 
speed automatic instruments. Wire- 
less telegraphy has continued to ex- 
pand both in volume of business and 
in maximum distance covered. Regu- 
lar communication by wireless across 
the Atlantic is now an accomplished 
fact. Perhaps the most important de- 
velopment of the year in this line is 
the discovery of a method of control- 
ling the waves so that their energy 
may be confined to one direction in- 
stead of spreading out in a sphere. A 
strong movement is being made look- 
ing towards the reduction of cable 
rates by 60 or 75 per cent. 

The technical progress in telephony 
has been mostly limited to the wire- 
less branch. The latest experiments 
indicate successful communication 
over a distance of 300 miles. In or- 
dinary telephone work some progress 
has been made in improvement of the 
currents, and the use of the automatic 
exchange has increased. 

In electric railway work the rule 
"make haste slowly" has been ob- 
served. Many projects were held up 
because of financial stringency, and 
this has undoubtedly retarded tech- 
nical progress. Some new single- 
phase roads have been placed in com- 
mission and a couple of heavy trac- 
tion installations have been put to the 
test of practice. The effort to raise 
working direct-current voltages keeps 
up nobly, and the perfecting of the 
commutating pole traction motor 
promises much in this connection. In 
addition to the railway work being 
done in this country, the Prussian 
lines from Magdeburg to Leipsic, 80 
miles, and a 22^2-mile line from 

Leipsic to Halle, are being electrified. 

In the field of transmission the 
signal events are the increases in com- 
mercial working voltages due prin- 
cipally to the tandem suspension type 
of insulator. For the first time com- 
mercial transmission has crossed the 
100,000-volt limit. The transformer 
is as far ahead of the insulator as ever, 
and the next move seems to be the 
inventing of some insulator covering 
of the conductors, oleaginous or other- 
wise, which shall check the loss due 
to discharges. 

In the central station industry the 
salient feature is the advent of the 
improved form of the tungsten lamp. 
While some fears have been expressed 
as to the immediate effect of this lamp 
on central station revenues, it appears 
that they are rather groundless, as the 
new business which comes from the 
improved lamp will, almost invariably, 
soon make up for any temporary loss. 
The tungsten lamp comes to hand 
just at the proper time to help out in 
the campaign against the gas lamp,_ 
and reports are that it is being used" 
with good effect. The replacement of 
the unsanitary gas burner, either of 
the Welsbach or straight gas type, by 
the tungsten lamp where the latter 
is properly loaded ought to be an im- 
portant factor in improving the public 
health. We do not think that the 
electric light salesman, as a rule, lays 
enough of stress on the deleterious 
effects of the gas lamp in lowering 
the tone of the lung tissues during the 
winter months, thereby rendering the 
user an easy victim to all sorts of 
"colds," and occasionally to pneu- 
monia, to say nothing of tuberculosis. 

The flaming arc lamp has come 
more and more to the front during the 
year, and seems now to be firmly es- 
tablished in popularity. 

In the widening field of electro- 
chemistry the two noticeable features 
are the gradual improvement of the 
processes for electrical steel making, 
and the improved results in getting 
atmospheric nitrogen in form for 
fertilizer. The first of these, the re- 
fining of steel, is one of great interest 
to everyone, and the fixation of nitro- 
gen touches every member of the hu- 
man race. 

Great progress has been made both 
here and abroad in the perfecting of 
commercial processes. A steel plant 




January, 1909 

is going up in Switzerland that will 
eventually absorb 22,000 h.p. find pro- 
duce 200 tons of fine steel in a day. 
The best evidence of the progress 
made is that the existing steel com- 
panies themselves are taking up the 
work. The electric smelting of iron 
ore in regions where it is suitable has 
also made noteworthy advances. Let 
it be noted in this connection that 
probably more than half of the known 
iron ore deposits of the world lie in 
these regions. 

The processes for the separation of 
nitrogen have improved to such a 
point that plans are being made for a 
plant to be devoted to this purpose 
that will utilize 120,000 h.p., and it is 
said that even larger installations for 
this kind of work are contemplated. 

In summing up, we think our read- 
ers will agree that 1908 has been a 
pretty good year and that it has be- 
queathed to 1909 a much better herit- 
age than it received from its prede- 
cessors. We feel that the electrical 
industries have the best of reason to 
face the new year with energy and 
confidence. To all of our readers, 
present and prospective, we wish the 
fullest measure of prosperity and suc- 
cess, and pledge ourselves to do all in 
our power to cooperate with them to 
bring it on. 

As heretofore, we shall continue our 
efforts to present the best and freshest 
news without fear or favor, and to 
merit the support and recognition so 
freely given us in the past. 

Rating's of Generators and Motors 

In the Standardization Rules of the 
American Institute of Electrical En- 
gineers is found the following some- 
what broad recommendation : "All 
electrical apparatus should be rated by 
output and not by input. Generators, 
transformers, etc., should be rated by 
electrical output; motors by mechan- 
ical output." 

This method of rating is sanctioned 
by usage and convenience, but those 
who have had to incorporate it in their 
business transactions have long been 
aware that it has its disadvantage. 
The chief of these is the lack of defi- 
niteness. Just what is the output of 
a generator or motor? The answer 
that it is the amount of electrical or 
mechanical energy that can be taken 
therefrom without the accompanying 
rise in temperature exceeding a given 
limit at once brings up the point. 

As is well known, such apparatus, 
in a broad sense, may be designated as 
"transformers" in that there is a trans- 
formation of mechanical to electrical 
energy, and vice versa. These trans- 
form with the loss of a fraction of the 
total energy that is transformed. 

Most of this lost energy, whose 
amount, relative to the total quantity 
of energy transformed is determined 
by the "efficiency" of the transforming 
device, appears as heat that is gener- 
ated in the iron of the magnetic cir- 
cuit, the copper of the electric circuit 
and in the bearings. Now, in so far as 
the capacity of the machine itself for 
producing "output" is concerned, it is 
this lost heat-energy that determines 
the permissible limits. In turn, the 
amount of heat-energy that can be 
permitted to develop in a given ma- 
chine is determined by the rise in tem- 
perature that the machine can stand 
without permanent injury. As gener- 
ators and motors are made "in the 
present state of the art," the substance 
in the machine that is most liable to 
permanent injury is the insulation. 
In reality, therefore, the rating of a 
machine, if based on its output, is 
determined by the heat-resisting qual- 
ity of the insulation used therein. 

Much trouble has resulted, and con- 
tinues to arise, from the looseness of 
definition that is unavoidable in a chain 
of limits such as here exists, and much 
thought has been expended in trying 
to devise ways to simplify the question 
of rating. About the net result, so 
far, is that engineers have to make a 
more or less accurate guess at the 
critical permissible temperature that 
the insulation can stand, make another 
conjecture of approximately the same 
degree of accuracy as to the difference 
between that maximum temperature, 
which in the nature of the case always 
occurs in the inward parts of the ma- 
chine, and a corresponding temper- 
ature in any external part that can be 
more or less accurately measured, and 
specify that the machine shall give its 
"rated" output without the measur- 
able temperature exceeding the figure 
indicated in the second guess. 

When it is considered that a dozen 
or more different factors enter in the 
determination of what the values 
above dealt with really are, such as the 
actual efficiency of the machine, its 
ventilating capabilities, its environ- 
ment, the arrangement and nature of 
the insulation and the time-factor in 
its deterioration, as well as a number 
of other elements of lesser import, the 
difficulty of getting at once an ap- 
proximate knowledge of the exact 
state of affairs is manifest. 

As is usual, in such cases a com- 
promise, born of experience and nur- 
tured by custom, grows up and is ac- 
cepted. So we find the Institute 
specifying divers permissible temper- 
ature rises for different sizes and 
kinds of machines and minute direc- 
tions for measuring this permissible 
rise. Other and higher figures are 
specified for "overloads" which are 

limited as to time, and so the rating 
question stands to-day. 

Now there is a considerable differ- 
ence of opinion as to what the proper 
values of the temperature rise really 
are, and the engineer who tries to get 
away from the above-mentioned speci- 
fications and do some rating of his 
own, finds that this difference leads 
manufacturers to quote very differ- 
ently both as to weight and costs on 
generators, and motors of the same 
rated output. Competition among the 
manufacturers leads to these results 
which are sometimes very misleading 
and gets both them and the engineers 
into trouble. In the foreign markets 
the difference between American and 
European practice in this respect has 
led to such a condition of affairs that 
exporting manufacturers have had to 
rerate their machines, calling a 10-h.p. 
motor in the United States a 15-h.p. 
one in Japan, a 25-h.p. machine ac- 
quiring 10 extra horse power in rating 
by shipping over the Rio Grande, and 
so forth. 

When the average citizen hears 
about this practice without under- 
standing its real cause, if he has free 
trade tendencies he notes it as another 
"protection outrage," and stores it up 
for ammunition in dealing with his 
Congressman. We fear that the elec- 
trical manufacturers will have this 
brought unpleasantly to their attention 
before the present tariff agitation is 

The remedy, we would venture to 
suggest, lies in all the generator and 
motor manufacturers agreeing upon 
and adopting a standard set of tem- 
perature specifications — and sticking 
to them. With this done, the situation 
will be greatly simplified, and we be- 
lieve that the consulting engineers will 
welcome it, as in the end it means the 
saving of trouble and misunderstand- 
ing for all concerned. This has been 
the universal result of movements 
looking to uniformity of action, and 
that "standardization" which is so se- 
verely criticized in some quarters will, 
we believe, in this case find few if any 
objections raised. 

We are glad to note that some work 
has already been done in this direc- 
tion, and hope to see it pushed ere 
long to a successful finish. 

Valuation of Public Service 


The synopsis of the decision of the 
Supreme Court of the United States 
concerning the right of the Consoli- 
dated Gas Company of New York to 
fix the charges for their service eon- 
tains one feature that is of special' in- 
terest to public service corporations, 
and their stockholders. After deny- 

January, 1909 



ing the right of the Gas Company to 
charge more than the rate allowed by 
the act of the New York Legislature, 
until it has first proved that that rate 
is so low as not to permit of a fair re- 
turn on the capital invested, which the 
court suggests is, in this particular 
case, six per cent., the decision infer- 
entially promises that in the case it 
can do this it will have ground for 
petitioning that the act be nullified 
and a higher rate established. 

This brings up the old question as 
to what is the legitimate capitalization 
of such a corporation. Like nearly all 
similar corporations in this fair land, 
the Gas Company is popularly sup- 
posed to be considerably over-capital- 
ized. By the same token it is in close 
relationship with most of the electric 
light and power companies as well as 
the traction interests. Indeed, almost 
every company whose duty and privi- 
lege it has been to use the public 
streets is in the same situation. And 
in almost every case the elusive ele- 
ments in footing up the capitalization 
are the "good will" and "franchise." 

Considerable mental work had been 
done on the problem in this case under 
discussion. From a total of $90,- 
000,000, claimed by the company, the 
figure had been cut to $60,000,000 by 
a lower court, the difference being 
mainly in the values assigned to the 
above-mentioned factors. 

The Supreme Court disposes of 
"good will" with the statement — 
which looks sufficiently obvious to the 
lay mind — that the "good will" of a 
monopoly has no tangible value. It 
cannot be gainsaid that the average 
public service monopoly does not en- 
joy much "good will" from the great 
public it serves. If the "good will" of 
a concern is defined as the mental atti- 
tude of the body from which that con^i 
cern draws its revenues, as compared 
with the attitude of the same body to- 
ward other similar concerns, this part 
of the case backs what our legal 
friends call a locus standi, and there- 
fore the "good will" element vanishes 
from the discussion where a monopoly 
is concerned. The court holds that 
where there is no possibility of com- 
petition there can be no allowance for 
good will. As will be readily seen, 
this involves most of the large electric 
utilities of the great cities. 

As to the valuation of the fran- 
chises, the situation is by no means so 
clear. Taxes on franchises are on 
many statute books and therefore they 
must have some tangible value. In 
the case in point the gas company 
originally valued its franchises at 
$24,000,000. The company's lawyers 
state that the decision sustains their 
value at $7,781,000, which is said to 
be the price paid for them when the 

consolidation took place. It would 
appear that franchises which did not 
cost their holder anything can have no 
capital value, and those that have been 
paid for have just that value — the in- 
ference being that any increase in the 
actual value of these franchises be- 
longs to the public and not to the 
titular owner. If this is finally estab- 
lished, the future promotors of public 
utility companies will have so much 
less fat in the pot. 

The equity of the case in general 
is not made any plainer by the fact 
that the Public Service Commission 
laws of New York forbids the capital- 
ization of such franchises altogether. 
This, of course, applies only to the 
future, but if it were wrong and unjust 
in the past some way to remedy it 
should be devised. And this way 
should be a direct one and not the one 
advocated by many commentators on 
the case, which point out that if a cor- 
poration can arbitrarily place a swol- 
len value on its franchises and call 
them "property," it can thus make ex- 
tortionate charges on such a basis and 
that the only way the public can help 
itself is by constructing parallel enter- 
prises of its own. It would be sup- 
posed that at this late day regulation 
instead of competition would be the 
dominant idea in this connection, but 
evidently the notion of the old crude 
and wasteful method, which works the 
greatest injury both to the corpora- 
tion and the people, dies hard. 

We believe that a satisfactory and 
equitable solution of this important 
and much-discussed problem will ulti- 
mately be found, and that it will be 
based on the principles laid down by 
French law in similar cases. To us, 
this appears to be another of the none- 
too-frequent instances in which "they 
do these things better in France." 

"Vacuum Cleaning Systems 

During the past two years the 
market has been deluged with vacuum 
cleaning equipments. These machines 
have been in many forms, but all have 
sought to obtain the common object 
of removing floor dirt by sucking 
it up and depositing the collected re- 
sults in a receptacle from which it is 
later removed. 

The interiors of these machines 
have been made up of bellows, pistons, 
fan blades and impellers similar to 
those in a Root blower in general con- 

They may be classed into two gen- 
eral divisions : portable and non- 
portable. Portable sets are carried 
in the hand or may be wheeled about 
on a very small truck. In any event, 
the cleaning apparatus itself is car- 
ried from room to room and the clean- 

ing tool attached by means of a few 
feet of hose. The motors operating 
these small sets take their current 
from a convenient light socket or are 
connected to a cleaner circuit, when 
the house has been wired for such. 

The non-portable sets are mounted 
in the cellar with a good foundation 
under them. An iron suction pipe is 
run through the house, with outlets at 
one or more points on each floor so 
that the rubber hose and cleaning tool 
only have to be handled by the oper- 
ator. Such an equipment is installed 
large enough to permit two or more 
cleaning tools to be at work at one 
time. It therefore follows that non- 
portable sets are generally of a sub- 
stantial size. 

The motors operating non-portable 
sets are made hand-starting or auto- 
matic-starting, as desired. When 
hand-starting the attendant must go 
down to the cellar and manipulate the 
rheostat before attempting to clean. 
The use of automatic starters allows 
the attendant to start and stop the 
motor from any floor by a push-button 
control. This latter system is the 
favorite one. 

Engineers and others, who are 
called upon to recommend cleaner 
systems, find themselves at a loss to 
select with much assurance the good 
from the bad amongst so many. Of 
course, all cannot be good, nor are 
all competitors of a given outfit N. G. 
The first question always is the gen- 
eral mechanical one of rigidity or sta- 
bility. When parts are light and seem 
to work hard against themselves on 
test, it is well to be cautious. Again, 
the cleaner end may have good bear- 
ings, easily operated valves, valves 
easy of repair and not liable to give 
trouble from dirt; the whole may be 
of simple construction, and yet the 
power may not be sufficient in the 
motor which drives it. On the ex- 
perience of those who have tested and 
examined nearly every make on the 
market, nine out of every ten of the 
machines driven by motors so small as 
to come within the underwriters' re- 
quirements about attaching to light- 
ing sockets are not worth substituting 
for a good broom and carpet cleaner. 
The makers of small equipments have 
to remove every bit of surplus weight 
which can be eliminated in portable 
sets, hence, motors lacking sufficient 
power. But the non-portable ma- 
chines seldom err on this account, as a 
good large foundation must be built 
anyway and some extra weight does 
not make any difference. The test 
applied by responsible makers is that 
a vacuum tool must have suction ef- 
fort enough to pick up ordinary BB 
lead-shot from the floor. The char- 
acter of cleaning work done by a tool 



January, 1909 

capable of this need never be feared. 
Inferior cleaners may take up light 
surface dirt spread carefully over a 
floor, but will not do genuine cleaning. 
To pick up dirt from depressions, to 
get it out of somewhat inaccessible 
places, to pick up pins, tacks and the 
like, which will insist upon getting 
into carpets and rugs, requires the 
vacuum equal to the shot lifting pull. 

The drift in the market at the pres- 
ent time, among those who have used 
one or more systems, is towards the 
non-portable type. The cost is much 
higher but the results justify the ex- 
pense, if the building is of any size. 

Most vacuum cleaner outfits have to 
deal with dry dirt. In large buildings 
it is often necessary to scrub a ball- 
room floor or tiled hall. The vacuum 
tool is then used to suck up the dirty 
water. It may interest our readers to 
know that scrubbing tools are now 
making their appearance, which will 
round out and complete the work to 
be done. By the use of these tools a 
stream of water containing soap or 
other cleaning substance will be car- 
ried into the scrubber. As the whirl- 
ing brushes move over the floor a 
clean floor covered with dirty water 
will be left behind. The cleaner tool 
following will draw this up, leaving a 
clean, wholesome surface. Thus will" 
the slow, painful hand labor of the 
well-known scrubwoman be super- 
seded by rapid, easily handled ma- 

Recording Operating Costs 

We invite the especial attention of 
our readers to the article in this issue 
describing the operation of the me- 
chanical plant of the Hotel St. Regis. 

In a subsequent article will be de- 
scribed an even more notable feature 
connected with this plant, the incep- 
tion and development of the "Relief 
and Educational Society" of the En- 
gineers' Department. It will later be 
understood how intimate is the con- 
nection between the splendid oper- 
ating record, of the plant and the ad- 
mirable training school for engineers 
and firemen, which owes its existence 
to Mr. J. C. Jurgensen, chief engineer 
of the St. Regis' engineering plant 
and chief instructor in the technical 
course of the St. Regis "Relief and 
Educational Society." 

In order to grasp the means which 
were at hand to accomplish the results 
shown, it is well to get a general idea 
of the plant itself. As is well known, 
the St. Regis is one of the most splendid 
hotels of the metropolis of the Western 
hemisphere, and the expenditure that 
was lavished on the architectural 

construction and equipment of the 
building was not stinted in the me- 
chanical equipment. As will be seen, 
the plant is complete in every detail, 
and neither thought nor money was 
spared to secure the very best both for 
construction and operation. 

The open shop and the nine-hour 
day are in full force, though the 
watches are eight hours, as elsewhere 
noted. Grading and promotion are 
strictly on merit, and every employe's 
record is carefully kept. The work 
of the "Educational Society," or the 
apprenticeship course, as it may 
otherwise be called, has been of great 
benefit to the operating and mainte- 
nance force, mostly all of which are 

The record of the four years of 
operation of the St. Regis plant shows 
that these results were not obtained 
without infinite effort. 

We present the following table to 
show how operating costs of power 
have been cut down: 

Total Operating Cost 
Year Boiler h.p.-hr. kw.-hr. 

Cts. Cts. 

1905 971 1.94 

1906 914 1.89 

1907 844 1.76 

1908 666 1.33 

The operating costs of both the 
boiler horse power and the kilowatt- 
hour have been steadily reduced. The 
very noticeable, reduction shown for 
the year just ended is attributed, prin- 
cipally, to two causes : 

First, the improved working out 
of the bonus system which has now 
had time to get in its best effect. 

Second, the improvement in the 
boiler performance caused by the 
adoption of the automatic ball-bearing 
turbine blowers. 

The first and most important of 
these causes is intimately connected 
with the work of the training school, 
which will be described in a later 

The analysis of the cost record 
sheets reveals the completeness and 
accuracy with which the operating 
costs of this plant are kept. All de- 
tails find their proper place, being 
compiled from the daily reports as 
they are turned in. The results of 
pains taken are evident. It would be 
hard to find any private plant where 
the records are more complete, and 
equally hard to find one where, under 
the given conditions, better economics 
are obtained. 

It is interesting to note that with 
all the adverse conditions as to extra 
attendance, etc., as noted, the total 
estimated average cost of a kilowatt- 
hour at the switchboard is now esti- 

mated at about 1.5 cents per kilowatt- 
hour. Such cost figures do not make 
the work of the central station power 
solicitor the easiest thing in the world. 
And it is but fair to assume that there 
are numerous other plants of the same 
kind that can, and do, approximate 
these results. Where the operating 
records are kept with care it should 
be a simple matter to prove that such 
is the case. 

The Chicago Electrical Show 

The fourth exposition of the Chi- 
cago Electrical Trades Exposition 
Company promises to be even more 
successful than the preceding shows. 
The successful conduct of these 
shows, success that has attended in 
the past, demonstrates the actual ne- 
cessity in the trade for expositions of 
this sort, when properly managed. 
The annual visit of thousands of oper- 
ating engineers to view the new ap- 
paratus developed during the year is 
one of the invaluable trade oppor- 
tunities to manufacturers, and they 
are not slow in appreciating the im- 
portance of putting their machinery 
on exhibition. There is nothing like 
seeing the apparatus itself. Adver- 
tisements in trade write-ups and cir- 
culars are more or less impotent as 
compared with the actual inspection 
of apparatus in operation, in so far as 
succeeding in arousing the attention of 
the trade and in creating a desire to 
use the apparatus. The purchase fol- 
lows if new equipment becomes nec- 
essary for the economical operation 
of the plant. 

The endeavor of the Chicago man- 
agement to make this year's display 
as far as possible a working exhibit, 
is a step forward in developing a 
comprehensive and representative dis- 
play of the electrical industry. The 
announcement that the United States 
government will display an entire 
equipment of machinery apparatus of 
a modern battleship is particularly 
noteworthy in directing the attention 
of the electrical fraternity to this field 
of endeavor. With the expanding 
needs of our navy and merchant 
marine, it promises to be very lucra- 
tive. The importance which now at- 
taches to the electrical equipment of 
vessels may be understood from the 
fact that about one-tenth of the cost 
of modern battleships lies in the elec- 
trical machinery and equipment. The 
government has much to gain in in- 
viting the attention of a multitude of 
engineers who will visit this display, 
and we have no doubt that an inspec- 
tion of the equipment will result in 
many helpful suggestions. 

The Model Operation of an Isolated Plant 

A GREAT many modern isolated 
plants are often unable to give 
the costs of their operation for 
the reason that in, we may say, the 
majority of instances their costs are 
not accurately and systematically kept. 
It is, therefore, instructive to find an 
instance in which not only are the 
cost records most admirably kept, but 
the latest methods of improving the 
efficiency of the operating force have 
been applied with signal success. 
While there are many plants in which 
one or both of these features receive 
more or less attention, it would be 
hard to find one in which they are 
better thought out and more closely 
systematized, than in the mechanical 
plant of the Hotel St. Regis at 55th 
st. and Fifth ave., New York. 

In this article will be set forth at 
some length the way in which this 
plant, which is a model in its way, is 
run, and also the methods of keeping 
track of the multitudinous details of 
the operation of such a plant, which 
is comparable with that of an ocean 
liner or a battleship. 

The power plant is one of the 
most complete ever installed in a 
building of this character. It com- 
prises a 1200-h.p. boiler outfit, 1000- 
kw. capacity of electric genera- 
tors, a 100-ton refrigerating plant and 
a very extensive heating and auxiliary 
equipment. Most of these auxiliaries 
are steam driven so as to supply ex- 
haust steam at low pressure to the 
heating, ventilating, hot water and wa- 
ter distilling plants. The plant is lo- 
cated in the sub-basement, some 50 ft. 
below the pavement, and is divided in- 
to a boiler room 40 x 50 ft., an engine 
room 72 x 100 ft., a fan room 40 x 50 
ft., and rooms for workshop, store- 
room, toilet and locker rooms for the 
employees. Although the boiler room 
represents only 2250 sq. ft. devoted to 
the actual power apparatus and the 
engine room 1800 sq. ft., which is a 
scant space for a 1000-kw. plant, yet 
owing to the compact arrangement and 
the use of vertical types of apparatus, 
wherever possible, satisfactory clear- 
ances for working about the plant have 
been secured in nearly all cases. This 
was done in part by double-decking 
the hydraulic elevators. 


The steam-generating equipment 
consists of four 300-h.p. Heine water- 
tube boilers, set in three batteries in 
the boiler room, which is at the rear 
of the sub-basement. They are ar- 
ranged in three settings, one contain- 

ing two units and the other two single 
boilers each. A seven-foot space is 
left at rear and sides for access to 
piping connections and cleaning doors. 
A 1 7- ft. firing floor extends in front 
of the boiler, which is paved with cast- 
iron floor-plates. Overhead is a six- 
inch I-beam runway for a hand-oper- 
ated trolley hoist to convey coal from 
the storage bunker under the sidewalk 


to the floor. Coal is handled in buckets 
of 500-lb. capacity and weighed in the 
bucket at the entrance of the boiler 
room. A two-foot steel fence holds 
the coal pile on the forward side and 
keeps clear passage way. 

The boilers have each a 48-in. steam 
drum, 21 ft. long, with the Heine 
wrought-steel tube headers attached at 
either end, between which are fitted 
the tubes. Each unit has two hundred 

and three 3j/2-in. tubes, 18 ft. long, 
giving a heating surface of 3500 sq. 
ft. They are designed for 150 lb. 
steam pressure and are equipped with 
hand-fired furnaces having a grate 
area of 60 sq. ft. Although a 60-in. 
steel stack is carried above the roof- 
line of the building to a point 300 
above the grates, thus giving a very 
^ood draft, the combustion is further 
improved by the installation at the 
-rear end of a "Wing" automatic tur- 
bine blower, which runs at 3400 r.p.m. 
and serves to regulate the draft. 
These blowers are so light and port- 
able that they can be shifted from 
boiler to boiler, and in a few minutes 
be set in place as the conditions may 

The boiler-feed equipment consists 
of four jy 2 x 5 x 6-in. duplex steam 
pumps, arranged with flexible con- 
nections for various combinations, but 
are usually returning condensed water 
from the receiving tanks of the heat- 
ing system to the boilers. Each pump 
has a Kieley automatic pump-governor. 
Goubert vertical closed feed-water 
heaters are used for preheating, the 
heating surface amounting to 250 sq. 
ft., disposed in two-inch seamless brass 
tubing. From the heater the feed 
water passes through a wood combina- 
tion filter and purifier and then 
through a Worthington hot- water me- 
ter. Supplementing the pumps are a 
pair of No. 6 Nathan injectors, which 
have suction connections to the city 
water mains. Each boiler is provided 
with blow-off connections leading to 
a blow-off tank, whence the blow-off 
water can be pumped up to the level of 
the street sewer. The pump for this 
service is automatically controlled and 
arrangements are made to recover a 
part of the heat of this water by pass- 
ing feed water through the blow-off 
tank. piping. 

The steam-piping system comprises 
an arrangement of distributing head- 
ers for both live and exhaust steam, 
by means of which great flexibility of 
control is obtained. The high-pressure 
header in 20 in. in diameter by 13 ft. 
long and has two 10-in. supply connec- 
tions and five delivery connections. The 
10-in. boiler connections each serve 
two boilers by means of an eight-inch 
branch to each. These branches are 
fitted with gate and non-return stop 
valves. The delivery connections con- 
sist of a ten-inch main supplying the 
electric-generator units, a seven-inch 
connection to the refrigerating service, 
another seven-inch line through a 
pressure-reducing valve to the low- 




January, 1909 









o 5 









S oo/~ - — 

January , 1909 



pressure header to make up for the 
heating system, and two six-inch lines, 
one for the pumping machinery and 
the other for the general high-pressure 
steam service throughout the building. 

The exhaust steam header is of cast 
iron 18 in. in diameter and n ft. long, 
with two supply and four delivery con- 
nections. The supply comprises a 
16-in. connection to the muffler tank 
of the engine room exhaust-steam 
system and a seven-inch connection 
from the high-pressure header through 
the reducing valve, above noted, for 
making low-pressure steam to the 
heating system when the engine ex- 
haust is insufficient. The exhaust 
header has an atmospheric relief for 
freeing it from excess pressure when 
steam is not used as fast as it is pro- 

Delivery connection from the ex- 
haust header consists of a 14-in. main, 
which runs to the upper floors for the 
heating stacks of the indirect heating- 
system, a 10-in. line to the tempering 
coils in the fan-room, a six-inch line 
to the sub-basement relay heating 
stacks and a six-inch line to the tem- 
pering coils of a ventilating system. 
The main exhaust line from the en- 
gines delivers to the exhaust header 
through a Potter muffler tank, which is 
also connected with a Cochran grease 
extractor, and a 54-in. receiver, which 
is equipped with 24 quarter-inch gal- 
vanized screens and a coke filter to aid 
in the complete removal of oil from the 


The heating system used in this 
building is the "indirect" type in which 
warm air pumped and filtered is heated 
by being drawn over heating stacks. 
There are three heating sets, one on 
the third, one on the seventh and one 
on the twelfth floors. Tempering coils 
which regulate the temperature of the 
air before it is admitted to the heat- 
ing stacks are provided. The heating 
connections are all dripped through 
Kieley steam-stop connections to the 
low-pressure return tank. All mains 
are covered with Keasbey magnesia 
sectional fittings, canvas jacketed and 


The electrical generating plant con- 
sists of four direct-connected units, 
aggregating a capacity of 1000-kw. 
Two units consist of 25X25-U1., 150- 
r.p.m., four-valve simple engine, di- 
rect connected to a 220-volt 300-kw. 
generator. The other two are 20 x 20- 
in., 200-r.p.m. engines of the same 
type connected to 200-kw. generators. 
The engines are all from the Harris- 
burg Foundry and Machine Co., and 
the generators from the Western Elec- 
tric Co. The engines were installed 


under a guarantee of 24 lb. of dry 
steam per indicated horse power. The 
generators are all over-compounded 
four per cent, to insure uniform volt- 
age with changes of load, and are 
guaranteed to stand 25 per cent, over- 
load for three hours without undue 

The electrical distribution system is 
a two-wire one, all power and lighting 
feeders being kept separate and un- 
der separate control from the switch- 
board out. Blower motors for various 
purposes are wired to separate feed- 
ers, provided with independent switch- 
es and circuit-breakers placed on the 
main switchboard, so that they are at 
all times under the control of the op- 
erating engineer. The lighting is con- 
trolled through groups of three panel- 
boards on each floor, which are sup- 
plied by separate feeders from the 
main switchboard. 

The switchboard itself is a ten-panel 
white marble one with two panels for 
generator control, two for totalizing 

the output, one for light and one for 
power, and the remaining are three 
power-distribution panels and three 
for lighting distribution. 

The equipment of the board in- 
cludes Weston indicating instruments, 
Thompson recording meters for meas- 
uring the total output and I. T. E. cir- 
cuit breakers. The entire electric light 
and power installation was made by 
the Western Electric- Company, New 
York. The boiler plant and steam 
equipment, as well as the very com- 
plete heating and ventilating plants, 
were designed by Alfred R. Wolff, 
consulting engineer, New York. The 
electrical equipment was designed by 
Patterson Bros., electrical engineers, 
New York. Steamfitting was done by 
Gillis & Geoghegan, New York. 


In starting to keep an accurate rec- 
ord of the operating expenses of this 
plant, it was realized that as less than 
half of the total output was converted 



January, 1909 


into electrical energy, some other basis 
than the kilowatt-hour must be used. 

After due consideration the horse 
power hour from the boiler was de- 
cided on as the obvious point for 
measuring the output and the follow- 
ing routine was devised : 

Coal is weighed on a section of the 
I-beam trolley runway at the en- 
trance to the boiler room, and each 
weight is immediately entered on a 
pad provided. As a mixture of No. 2 
and 3 buckwheat coal is used, as well 
as a systematic method of filling the 
bucket, an automatic counter on the 
trolley rail serves to check up the 

Hourly readings of this meter are 
taken. The make-up water from 
the city mains varies greatly with 
the fluctuation in the amount of water 
returned from the heating system and 
from the numerous domestic uses in 
the hotel. The forms on which these 
readings are entered are somewhat as 
indicated below. 

This quantity of water and coal 
represents the consumption during the 
eight hours of the watch, and from it, 
as a base, the horse power output of 
the plant is calculated. Allowance is 
made for the degree of moisture in 
the coal. The boiler-room crew's 

Hourly Reading of 


Water Meter 


of Coal 



Cubic feet 





12 P. M. 







11 " 







10 " 





522 , 


9 " 







8 " 







7 " 







6 " 







5 " 







4 " 






I 6125 




Total coal, 20,469 lbs, 

Total water, 3,155 cu. ft. 

weight entries. These coal read- 
ings are used to check up the 
weekly inventory of coal on hand ; the 
water is measured by a pair of 
Worthington turbine hot-water me- 
ters, as mentioned above, which 
meter is calibrated every week. 

jurisdiction ceases at the high-pres- 
sure steam header. 

The watches in this plant are of 
nine hours each. The duty in engine 
and boiler rooms is eight hours. 
Thus the watches overlap each other 
by an hour, and as each watch's rec- 

ord is kept with equal care they have 
ample time to check up each other, 
and thus avoid the weakness incident 
to a system where one watch comes 
on reluctantly as the other goes off in 
a hurry. 

The boiler-room force numbers 
seven. A head fireman, who does 
the boiler cleaning and repairs, and 
three watches, each consisting of a 
fireman and coal passer, make up the 
complement. The bonus system is in 
force, and the splendid results at- 
tained by its use will be dwelt upon 
later. The form of the bonus used 
here is as follows: A standard de- 
termined by years of experience is 
adopted. In this plant it is now four 
pounds of coal per boiler horse power 
hour. Each fireman does his best to 
save coal by coming below the stand- 
ard. He is credited with a propor- 
tional amount, which is over and 
above his fixed wages. The bonus 
for the head fireman and coal passers 
is based on the total result of the 

Fig. 6. C & C. ELECTRIC FAN 


efforts of the three watches. This 
arrangement insures the force against 
the bad effects of too much team- 
work and keeps the three watches 
working as a unit. 

The outgoing watch presents its 
report as shown in Fig. 7, 

The results of these fuel and water 
measurements are tabulated as shown 
in the following sheets. 

The report here shown is for the 
last month of 1908, and gives the daily 
horse power developed for every day 
in the month, as well as all other 
routine features of the plant. 

This table shows the fireman's 
bonus sheet as worked out for the 

January, J909 



same month. In this particular boiler- 
room the scale of wages is as follows : 

Head fireman $70 

Firemen 65 

Coal passers 40 



C/a^i V- /I? lime of Reading, 12T.M 

man, amounting 1 to over 18 per cent, to take advantage of its benefits is un- 
in the case of the head fireman, and der contemplation. In addition to 
nearly 15 per cent, in the case of the this there are 15 men employed in 
most skilful fireman. "maintenance," which includes look- 

The engine-room force looks after ing after the larger plant comprising 

the house utilities such as heating sys- 
tem, elevators, etc., and consists 

Watch No. 3. 

Boiler Pressure 

No of Cocks of 

Time Tubes 

Time Fires 

Time Fires 

Cans Ash Removed 
from Back 

Counter Reading 
4 P. M 





Coal Fired Lbs. 

Temp. Feed 

Reading Feed 
Water Meter 

Draft in Inches 
in Chimney 

Chimney Gas 

Cans Ash 












d A 2 !$!«£. 





Counter Reading 
12 P. M. 

£6 £JLL 




The above readings to be taken by watch going ON in presence of witch going OFF and BEFORE same is RELIEVED 


O. ». 


All reports are made and signed the running of all the machinery, and 

by the head fireman, and the result ten men are employed in this work, 

of the crew's vigilance is seen in the The bonus system is not, as yet, em- newals; the other two, Figs. 12 and 

handsome bonuses received by each ployed in this division, but a scheme 13, are for recording the total cost of 

Hotel St. Regis, 

mainly of machinists, plumbers and 
their helpers. In all, the mechanical 
department employs a total of 36 peo- 
ple, of whom four only are charged to 
supervision. These include the chief 
engineer, his assistant, a combination 
*lM4#£j fr tM bookkeeper, stenographer and type- 
& rfi / writer and the storekeeper. The addi- 
L m i hS M UMu- tion of this staff to the regular boiler- 
and engine-room force should be con- 
' sidered in the inspection the total cost 
per kilowatt-hour. 

The report on gas meter and water 
from outside service is shown in Fig. 
10. It will be noted that these readings 
are itemized so that each can be 
charged off to its proper division of 
the service. 

From the above data, the total horse 
power evaporated is known, and all 
the routine elements in the cost of 
producing it are also known. The 
material cost of repairs is taken care 
of by the three sheets. One of these, 
Fig. 11, is for routine repairs and re- 


Hotei St. Regis. 

Engineer", Dept. {Z^er* Z 7$rtl2(>)r 7?rp<irfi 

Month n f J/&sze-79z,Z>&y too/ 

Engineer s Dept. 






Month of J?ece-?n>Z0Y- i < i oS ^ aZ ■$£*->"*?*■<*■ ■ 4,/oZvs prSt./? 1 


1 1 





























mte . 











>fZJ Pt 




f effiC 

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t tf<Tf 










S5-A60 * /z*r. 












tw/t zii 


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SSM. 2n 

X oi t'slLjL 

74t llJl 

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t //el 7360 214 I, 





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t-B£j 2 mm. 





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ris. eff*,t& t&tiotfWailr Sftttr Its* 

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J3L12M£@.$&&& (£2Ml£t 

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/<??&> ($%^m 



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$LSZfm.J£l — 







1 £maS-pa^s%ers *-a^£. 


Fig. 9. — firemen's bonus sheet. 



January, 1909 

repairs, the requisition for material 
and labor are combined on the sheet, 
copies of which go to the engineer so 
that he may keep posted on the prog- 
ress of the work. 

Fig. 14 shows a card for keeping 
the storekeeper's record. This is in 
the usual form of a card catalogue, 
and is a complete history of the trans- 

Fig. 15 shows the report for the 
heating and ventilation systems. 

The next figures indicate the re- 
ports for the laundry, refrigerating 
and elevator plants, respectively. 


HO TFT ST RFTtIS Er, K ,n«f S DepartmeM 



8 A. M. 


13 P M 


rt»-j«i- K 

X°99 f 

1/ 5^*- 

2-2. 9(1- 


3o C 





- 3 r r-f-<< 

3D 7/7 

f-d *-to 



<f-0 ej 







?c *f 

--!• IHOHrWUN 









amt uua<c f T 












iBtund jnd Flours 


7 1 ' 




2 7<n 





2T.T7 2- 

?i ii 

078-0 3 







TaWitiftE.* Vf Panirica 
E &W Mexuninc Raft 





Kitchen. East 

7/7 71- 

1 11 



Sub .basement 






3 + < 

l 2- 


TAL < 


f-°) y 3 






7)**. *fL 



Dour* ait ibis requisition on JOB N! MBER C . Do noi »ik fo 


i requlr 





Dols Cis 

,/ , tV-ff C£s-a-43C2 




Fo^ y-* •>- ,v /*•* tiv; bnodu. 





roved by Eojio-.i 


The ail consumption is taken care 
of by the oiler's report, as shown in 
Fig. 19. 

With the aid of the above-described 
system of reports, which will be recog- 
nized as based on marine practice, the 
records of the operating cost cover- 
ing water, gas, oil, waste, renewals 
and repairs, can be accurately kept. 



Engineer's Dept. 

job No. ^9078 


GIVEN TO — - -_fij__ "tttp H* 

CHARGE TO Sfaghg y- ff^^r j?^--^ 


which are tabulated and presented 

In analyzing the results which are 
shown on this sheet, it is well to re- 
member that the purchasing and 
storekeeping are done by the mechan- 
ical department, and that there is 
a certain amount of house-service 
which is unavoidably charged against 


Engineer's Dept. 


job No. 2907S 





Aj^a/ U^<>< L 


(f&itez^C Z^ - tfp-f- 









■4~ /&* Jr£<JUuf~- b77L£S 

#r- _ - V&fl syn^XXL, rfitr 


LLAUIr** la**Cc£t-S-_._A 

A-ta«w»*_^. <st +*&- 


■ ""'LABOR JL3l3=Z. _ 




The charges for all elements of the 
operating costs are to hand, with the 
exception of those for attendance and expenses. 

These costs are grouped as follows : 

Executive end Office Force 4 

Operating Force 17 

Maintenance 15 

Elevator Operators 7 

The sum of this account keeping 
is shown in the cost record sheets, 





the plant in spite of the above-noticed 
efforts to regulate them. This makes 
the results obtained still more re- 
markable, and in the opinion of the 
operating engineer, the bonus system 
in the firing room is the greatest single 
factor involved in getting them. This 
system is further supplemented by the 
effects of the training given in the 
Society, and there is no doubt that the 
efficiency of the operating personnel 
in this plant is extremely high. 


Cost Boat Unit 




No or Size 
















Roq. No. 

Job. No. 


Machine No 






January, 1909 




Engineer's Department 

Palp , < 3\c.. a Time of readings, 

HOTEL ST. REGIS, Engineer's Department 






E • 




°'opt- t0 




Kitchen and 

Mejwamrn? floor 







1st Floor 



Re- heating Stacks 


Public Rooms 

ill Floor 




4th to 71I1 Floors 



Sth to uth Floors 





13II1 to 17th Floors 


haust Motors 

Kind of Weather 




Fire Places, East 



High Wind 




3-18 Floor East 


Medium Wind 





Light Wind 


■ 8F1 

Fire Places, West 

O-tside temperati 



3- rS Floor West 

Outside hum 

Tl.rl, p,«ii,r- 1 1,. 

Valve Cups- 


Oiled Guides 


Candle Cups 
Filled Sheaves 




Plunger Lifts 












c 2 








•* S 




> 2 










3 3 











Remarks : 


The total costs charged against the 
mechanical department are grouped as 
follows : 




I Coal, 

II Oil, 

III Grease, 

IV Waste, 

V 1 Water, 

VI Gas, 

VII Ash Removal, 
Attendance and Superv'n 
Mechanical Stores, 


Boiler Plant 


Heating and Ventilation] 


Electric System 


Dumb Waiters 


Tool Equipment 

Oiling System 

Auxiliary Machinery 


The mechanical department also The costs of all these branches of 
takes care of the related mechanical the service are entered up against the 

branches of the house service. operating costs of the mechanical de- 

They are: partment. 

Li htin Among the many special features 

Laundry that make the operation of this plant 

Kitchens of exceptional interest must be men- 

Public Rooms 

*_xuest Rooms rorw m4™o-i-,-vs T_TATr?T c*t* nr*^Tn 

Alterations HUliiL SI KEGIS 





HOTEL ST. REGIS, Engineer's Department 

12 P. M. to 8 A. M. WATCH No. I. 

Date, ISO 

, Daily Laundry Report. 





of Con 














e. p. 

















H. P. 


Pa. t 

r s 

















E" NO. 







" "NO. 





" NO. 







NG - 

No. 1 


Sth AVE. . 




no 2 


55th ST. 





Examined and Oiled Following Machines , . ,H4^r^V)^ 2 ,**^r 5 ^.^T. . 

Renewed Oil in 

. .4*2 

Cleaned Following Machines „_. . .^^^-y-v 

Shortened Following Belts 

Packed Following Machines and Places „.. 

Special Work- 

General Condition of Machines and Shafting 




Engine I.V . .„.qts. 

Cylinder.. ..^....qli Signed. .—^.^^ 





January , 1909 

tioned the "Plan Book." With the ob- 
ject of facilitating the quick and cer- 
tain location of any of the piping con- 

duced scale the floor plans of the ho- 
tel, indicating the locations of the 
above parts. The speedy location of 

HOTEL ST. REGIS, Engineer's Department. 






».-.„ » , 

0.™. m 3 



Eoaux Row 








... |».„. 



VO.T 6 





0.1 Put la Tam. 


Oil Uiid Ox E- »•( 
O-l. In Qu 



Tot.l Oi t Unto 


Tor.i_Oi.UatO 1* 


Dii'N 0* CK In 



r— I 1 _1_ 



Fig. 19. — oiler's report. 


nections, valves, fittings and other any point is facilitated by a system of 
parts of the various systems, a book column numbers, which are the same 
was prepared which shows on a re- as the constructive numbers. This 

high-pressure steam for general pur- 
poses, low-pressure steam, drip lines, 
scheme is especially convenient in the 
crowded basement and sub-basement. 
Accompanying this set of floor dia- 
grams is a series of schedules for all 
the systems of piping used, including 
hot and cold-water supply, lines for 
refrigeration, vacuum-cleaning system 
water piping and all other equipments 
and fittings in which is listed the lo- 
cation of each part with relation to the 
columns as well as the sizes of the 
pipes. Wherever possible the columns 
have their numbers plainly lettered 
on them, so that reference to the sched- 
ule is made easy to follow. These 
diagrams and schedules are on blue- 
printed forms, 9x12 in., a size con- 
venient for the attendants to handle in 
using them. It is found that this book 
is frequently consulted not only in the 
locating of concealed pipes, but in 
identifying the pipes in congested 
parts. The value of this simple scheme 
is especially noticeable in the case of 
a new workman, who can by its use at 
once familiarize himself with the en- 
tire complicated plant and piping sys- 

Hotel St. Regis, _ 

Engineer's Dept . jfa/f,, /^^y ttz?****, JA/sJ~ 
Month ol .ArlT/G.J*l3r>r" ion/ 

l/eiyhfof fiml Zus/jjtecJ. 

r^tal Jlsh A ff/fusr- 

PfrrSnTTije tyf/'klngtTr's/ tA. Sf In (sxt7. 

Tot* I WerjA^af WaTrr ardUtlly / i/af/ira-M 

F^l,,^ /. UtiZry £~ui,r>»r:SmM* t, nT^/Z.". 

Cr,al etr -Sffy- "f frmferx r /r'/jir r 

" /7l/rmj/t> Sfsrt-»i ~Pn>.t.r,trt> ZLfci. 


I t 




















fir Hit nnrti p 

~rsbrrf,r>7 &7~ && fry Serf tr Bar //>/?. 

/rir-fiy bY A? '//an trail a n 

Trn^a. g£z Ekca L JtZaixL 

tfarsr T^u/py s? 4rse7.*&ecZ,. 

EAcapr'no (rases "fiiiAr. 

Z"Ac of ZTri-ffY r>y<ir&rafpj, mr/Anf- m^ naturti. 


• (Trrrfiaxttfr, 

L7>s. of jZrrjl Afy //. g 

(7mn / zr. r ■£■ id /> feT //. /P 

iCet-r-nJ- Cj>* i f, ,r*)£/- 77tnr. 

rum xu t+ir,?,. 

A^ar'ntf-rra^r n. *f Pr> 1' Z-r rtf. 

Jtsh /Ye m avrt/ 

Blfajtx far A^ay <i>, 7$m/*r /^/^^if 'P" J 
7atn7 Kr„r>~, r/vr f»r B»7 7vr f/qyT.*^ 


per rftii?- 

Actual far ftV R*il,irtfp..hitfr'. „-r- ffenSfer- 

L&AO& S/STl 




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Wfi63JZ /36U 

1.7 d 



37 B 

3. 10 

/ S9 W 






er cfa 



77. 9* 










l ? e 

$ Z££t Z4& - 







Hotel St. Regis, 

Engineer's Dept. (Ten <> yq t Snj FUvt 




nth of .y^/y^^^^T nn/ 




1 1 


t/ qjes frr /I/fen nr? (feij. /?*■*,?<- 





Oist- f}Q r 2l ' fob/rf*?~-7/t"< <y fanfa 
















fir/fit mm 

Thfal rY?7/rarq/7\s Jiet1<Y*7>c/ 

Waffs pr-aJueer? err /"HP 

IH.r? ff^veTaoea^ 

Stent*! fans/; /ncf-r'j/1 fierT/Sf? 

IBcrt /f f tfP rA. se<7fr} r Gen 7?an /" 

Cnn/ r^crr-7 Srir /?(>■*, 'P/rM-trrn 7 ff.< 


rY^7au/a7f /¥ar/r -r-m 7 Ac 

Casf af tfq-r/er- /f.jP r^e^. 

Afq I'snT^-Tirx -Mr-* of ^n. fr**-* -f 

(7*/ C?rert.<?<> & frfi-rf-* 

Tr}f<?7 E'jCjpimj'.t-for " 



% of fnf-o/. fioi/er //.P rj.rrr/f*r <?/>r? Tii „t. 

jf ire raft 

1 31 (tt 


116 777 

an. /.s 


7</'J9Z.<- Z4/W 


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Underground Lines 

Cable WorR 


Commonwealth Edison Co., Chicago, 

THE conditions of American 
practice have been such that the 
draw-in system has been more 
economical in the long run than sys- 
tems which require excavations to be 
made when alterations or repairs are 

The growth of the use of elec- 
tricity in American cities proceeds 
at such a rate that cables must be 
reinforced or new cables added ev- 
ery year, and in the larger cities 
almost every day. If it were neces- 
sary to open up paving for all such 
work the expense would be very 
great and the time required would 
be greatly increased. Furthermore 
in streets which are recently paved, 
the ability to secure permits for such 
work is often very difficult, owing to 
objections on the part of abutting 
property owners who paid for the 

The chief disadvantage of the 
draw-in system is that more ducts 
must be laid down than are required 
for immediate use, and there is nec- 
essarily a portion of the investment 
which is unused for a few years, but 
which involves fixed charges. The 
value of the duct is, however, not 
usually more than half that of the 
cable, and in low tension systems 
not over 20 per cent, so that with a 
reserve capacity of 50 per cent, in a. 
duct line, only from 15 to 25 per 
cent, of the total investment is idle. 

The draw-in cable and conduit 
method of installing underground 
conductors has therefore become 
standard in American cities for 
transmission and distribution pur- 
poses, except that Edison tube or 
its equivalent is used for small lines 
in low tension distribution. 

The type of cable used in Ameri- 
can practice varies according to the 
service in which it is to be used. All 
cable drawn into conduit, however, 
is alike in that its insulation is pro- 
tected by a sheathing of lead, which 
excludes all moisture and insures its 

The earliest cables were insulated 
with rubber. The expense of this 
and the use of a waterproof sheath 
suggested the use of a wrapping of 
strips of oiled paper. The paper in- 

sulation proved very practical pro- 
vided proper precautions were taken 
in making joints and in protecting 
the ends to exclude moisture. The 
difficulty of doing this under cer- 
tain circumstances led to the devel- 
opment of insulation made of var- 
nished cambric. This is less expen- 
sive than rubber but more expensive 
than paper, and is not so susceptible 
to moisture at joints and terminals. 
These various considerations have 
resulted in the use of rubber insula- 
tion where frequent taps are made 
on distributing mains, but not gen- 
erally for through lines such as feed- 
ers and transmission lines. Var- 

Fig. 1 

nished cambric has been used to a 
limited extent in place of rubber, 
under similar conditions. It is also 
used quite generally in high tension 
bus-bar work inside of stations and 
substations. Oiled paper is used al- 
most exclusively for feeders and 
transmission lines and can be used 
for primary distributing mains if the 
joints are covered with a lead sleeve 
and the ends are protected by pot- 

Cables are made up in single, du- 
plex, concentric, three-conductor 
and four-conductor or higher in spe- 
cial cases. Duplex is the term ap- 
plied to two conductors which are 
enclosed in one lead sheath side by 

side, while concentric cable is made 
up with one conductor in the center 
and the other outside, as shown in 
Fig. 1. 

In general, single-conductor cable 
is used when frequent taps are re- 
quired as in distributing mains and 
concentric and other multiple con- 
ductor cables are used for through 
lines where taps are not made. Du- 
plex cable has been used quite ex- 
tensively in series arc systems and 
in single-phase taps of alternating 
current systems. It is difficult to 
train in manholes, as it does not 
bend easily in the plane of the con- 
ductors and with paper insulation is 
especially susceptible to the en- 
trance of moisture and to injury 
from bending at too small a radius. 
Where it is used for distributing 
lines, rubber insulation should be 
used. Duplex cable is somewhat 
less expensive in first cost than two 
single conductors with the same in- 

Concentric cables are used in pref- 
erence to duplex where the conduc- 
tors are over 4/0, as the side by 
side arrangement makes a cable 
which it is very difficult to bend, 
and in the larger sizes it cannot 
be drawn into a standard duct. The 
greater facility of jointing makes 
the use of duplex somewhat prefer- 
able in the sizes below No. o B. & S. 
The concentric arrangement is there- 
fore employed for large low tension 
feeders and for two-wire primary 
feeders in some cases. This arrange- 
ment is especially advantageous 
with low tension feeders as it per- 
mits the use of a single duct for 
the outers of an Edison feeder of, 
750,000 or larger, where two ducts 
would be required if single-conduc- 
tor cable were used. This is of 
much importance where feeders are 
numerous and duct space limited as 
in the case of some of the larger 

Low tension feeders which are 
added in a congested district are 
often run so close to other feeder 
ends that no additional neutral ca - 
pacity is required. A concentric 
cable may thus constitute an entire 
feeder occupying but a single duct. 




January, 1909 

When additional neutral capacity is 
needed it may be installed in the 
form of bare stranded cable, one 
duct being used for the neutral of 
several feeders. Low tension dis- 
tributing mains which have three 
conductors of the same size should 
preferably be of single-conductor 
cable, in order to facilitate the work 
of making service taps. This work 
must be done with the lines alive 
and is much more easily accom- 
plished when one polarity may be 
dealt with at a time. The same is 
true of service cables which are 
terminated in damp basements or 
sidewalk areas where good insula- 
tion is maintained with difficulty 
and where the separation of polari- 
ties is very desirable. 

Two-phase and three-phase feed- 
ers from which few taps are taken 
are preferably of three or four con- 
ductor paper cables, owing to the 
lower cost of a single lead sheathing 
and of paper as compared with 
single-conductor cables of cambric 
or rubber. The use of single-con- 
ductor on the primary mains is pref- 
erable from the standpoint of the ex- 
pense of jointing, and separation of 
polarities. It is also desirable to use 
single-conductor cables at points 
where multiple-conductor feeders 
are connected to an overhead sec- 
tion as this makes a safer installa- 
tion to handle on a pole top. 

Secondary cables carrying loads 
of 200 amperes and upward are sub- 
ject to inductive action when made 
single-conductor. The magnetic 
field may become strong enough to 

induce an appreciable difference of 
potential between the lead sheaths 
of single-conductor cables of a cir- 

Fig. 2 

cuit and cause a flow of current 
sufficient to cause injury to the lead 
sheaths while they are in contact 
with each other. This can be pre- 
vented with such cables by the use of 
a jute covering over the lead sheath, 
though this is found objectionable 
in case repairs are necessary owing 
to the tendency of such cables to 
stick in the duct. The preferable 
method with oooo cables and smaller 
sizes is to use three-conductor cable. 
Short pieces of single conductor 
may be spliced in at the manholes 








Size — 

B. & S. & 




4-32 in. 





3-32 in. 

4-32 in. 


. 4-32 









































































































1 .024 






1 .339 



1 .582 





























































11 077 



Table 3 

where service taps are to be made or 
service taps may be made through 
a small junction box. The saving in 
cost of cable, due to the use of the 
three-conductor, compensates partly 
for the expense of making the extra 

Transmission lines which are us- 
ually three-phase are almost univer- 
sally of three-conductor cable with a 
thickness of insulation on each con- 
ductor sufficient for the voltage be- 
tween phases. Another layer is 
placed over all three conductors in 
addition to that on the separate 
cables as shown in Fig. 2 to provide 
insulation to ground. 

The thickness of insulation re- 
quired varies with the voltage for 
which the cable is intended. 

Low-tension cables are provided 
with about 4/32.-inch insulation be- 
tween conductor and lead in single- 
conductor and the same amount 
over each conductor in a multiple- 
conductor cable, with no extra layer 
of insulation over all. This is the 
least which it is advisable to use for 
mechanical reasons and is sufficient 
for any voltage up to 500 or 600. 
In single-conductor cables of 350,- 
000 to 1,000,000 cm. it is customary 
to provide 5/32-inch paper and 6/32- 
inch in larger cables, to provide 
proper strength of insulation during 
installation. Six-thirty-seconds-inch 
is found sufficient for 2000 to 6000- 
volt single-conductor cables up to 
4/0, while 10/32-inch is required for 
potentials from 9000 to 13,000 volts. 

The thickness of insulation, 
weight of copper, paper and lead 
sheath and over all diameters of va- 
rious sizes of single-conductor paper 
insulated cables are given in Table 
3. It will be noted that the diameter 
of 600,000 cm. cable being 1.462-inch, 
this is the maximum size of cable of 
which two can be drawn into a 3^- 
inch tile duct without undue strain. 
The diameter of three-conductor ca- 
bles of varous thicknesses of insula- 
tion is given in Table 4. The largest 
diameter in each column is the larg- 
est cable which can be drawn into a 
standard tile duct. 

The insulation provided in various 
cables designed for different volt- 
ages in some of the large transmis- 
sion systems is shown in Table 4A. 
It will be noted that the thickness 
of insulation varies from 67 mils per 
1000 volts between conductors at 
6600 volts to 22 mils at 25,000 and 
from 52 mils per 1000 volts between 
conductor and ground, at 6600 volts 
to 16 mils at 25,000 volts. These 
differences are due in part to differ- 
ences of opinion as to what factor of 
safety should be used in the design 
of high potential cables. The lower 

January, 1909 



values of thickness are used on the 
higher voltages because the thick- 
ness required does not vary directly 
with the voltage. 

In low tension work and in some 
large transmission systems it is im- 
portant to have as large a safe cur- 
rent carrying capacity as possible. 

The carrying capacity of lead 
sheathed cables in conduit is de- 
pendent upon the (a) size and num- 
ber of the cables in the conduit, (b) 
the radiating capacity of the conduit 
and cable, and (c) the ability of the 
insulation to withstand high tem- 

The case may be stated in another 
way, viz. : the carrying capacity of 
cables is fixed by the maximum tem- 
perature at which itjs safe to oper- 
ate the insulating medium. The size 
and number of cables carrying a 
given load fixes the amount of en- 
ergy released in the conduit line in 
the form of heat. The resulting 

tiple-conductor cable is reduced be- 
cause of the greater amount of en- 
ergy which must be dissipated per 
foot of cable. The Standard Under- 
ground Cable Company is authority 
for the statement that duplex cable 
has 87 per cent, of the carrying ca- 
pacity of single-conductor, concen- 
tric cable 78 per cent, and three- 
conductor 75 per cent. The heat 
conducting power of rubber is 
somewhat better than that of oiled 

the insulating value of the paper will 
be injured. 

The carrying capacity of certain 
of the more common sizes of single- 
conductor load cables and the watts 
per foot at 65 ° C. are given in the 
following table : 

Tests reported by Ferguson in his 
paper before the Electrical Congress 
at St. Louis in 1904 furnish very 
useful data as to the temperatures 
attained in paper insulated cables 



























Watts, Per Foot - 











5 86 



paper, and a given thickness of rub- 
ber insulation may therefore be re- 
lied upon to convey more heat away 
from the conductor than the same 
amount of paper. However, the 

maximum temperature at which 
temperature is fixed by the radiating rubber should be operated is about 
capacity of the cable insulation and 65 C. and the ampere load on a 

THREE CONDUCTOR — C/s Lead Throughout) 

Insulation Thickness on Each Conductor, and Over Bunch Respectively Equal to- 


5 11 

3 1 1 



5 -II li 





9 1 9 

TO I 1 

















































1 164 























1 145 









































































































Table 4 

the duct system. It is apparent that 
the ducts which are inside and have 
no direct contact with the concrete 
casing of the duct line will run 
warmer than those around the edge. 
Likewise it is natural that the inner 
conductors of concentric cables 
should run hotter than those next 
to the sheath. The exact effect of 
such relations has been studied by 
Fisher in connection with the Niag- 
ara Falls Power Company's system, 
by Ferguson in the Chicago central 
station system and others. In gen- 
eral the result of such tests indicates 
that with a nine-duct line, the rating 
of the cable should be reduced to 
about 85 per cent, of its capacity 
when a four duct line while in a 
16-duct line it may be reduced to 60 
per cent. 

The carrying capacity of a mul- 

rubber-covered cable should not be 
such as to run the temperature be- 
yond this point. The temperature 
of paper cables may at times be 
pushed above this figure, but if op- 
erated continuously about 85° C., 

laid in underground conduits. Fig. 
5 shows the rise in temperature ex- 
perienced by a 1,000,000 cm. single- 
conductor cable, in tile duct, and in 
air, when carrying loads from 800 
to 1900 amperes. It will be noted 
that at a load of 1000 amperes, the 
rise of temperature of the cable in 
the air is 41 ° C. while in the conduit 
it is about io° C. higher. 

The results represented by the 
curve in Fig. 6 show the rate of rise 
of temperature in a two-conductor 
concentric cable of 1,000,000 cm. in 
each conductor when it is carrying 
1000 amperes. It is apparent from 
the curves that the temperature of 
the outer conductor is practically 
the same as that of the single-con- 
ductor cable of the same section in 
air, but that the inner conductor 
runs hotter. The rate of rise is such 
that the ultimate elevation of 40 per 
cent, in the outer conductor is 
reached in about 2 l / 2 hours, 70 per 
cent, of this rise having occurred in 
the first hour. Overloads of short 
duration may therefore be carried 
safely. Data for a three-conductor 
cable of 4/0 in conduit are given in 
Fig. 7 for various ampere loads. 
This cable was loaded with an equal 
current in each conductor and it is 
apparent that with equivalent cur- 
rent densities, this cable runs cooler 
than the 1,000,000-cm. cable. This is 
due to the fact that the radiating 





Thickness of Insulation in Thousandths 
of an Inch. 







Per 1000 V. 

Between g^" 
rf-tors. | Sll^l 

New York Edison 













22 . 



N. Y. Metropolitan 


Commonwealth Edison 


N. Y. Sub. Co 

N. Y. Manhattan 

Buffalo Niagara L 



St. Paul 


Table 4a 



January, 1909 

surface of the three-conductor cable 
is over 60 per cent, greater than that 
of the single-conductor 1,000,000-cm. 

The most convenient terms in 
which to express the load on cables 


















































Fig. 5 

is in watts per duct foot, as the 
heating of cable and air is directly- 
proportional to this quantity. 

The resistance of a 1,000,000-cm. ca- 
ble being 0.0000124 ohm per ft. at 50 
C, the energy loss C 2 R in a single 
conductor cable at 1000 amperes is 
1000X1000X0.0000124= 12.4 watts. 
Likewise in a 1,000,000 concentric 
cable the loss is 24.8 watts per ft. 
In a three-conductor 4/0 cable, with 
200 amperes current in each con- 
ductor, the resistance per ft. being 
0.00006, the loss per foot, of cable is 
3X200 X 200 X 0.00006 = 7.2 watts. 
With smaller conductor the energy 
loss is less for a given current den- 
sity, and the surface of radiation not 
decreasing proportionately, the cur- 
rent density may be run above 1 
ampere per 1000 cm. 

In placing cable in the duct sys- 
tem, a uniform method of selecting 
















|R , 












r yl? 








a J 





Fig. 6 

ducts should be followed as far as 
possible. The cable of a given line 
should occupy the same relative po- 
sition throughout its course as far as 

this is possible. Cables used in local 
distribution should be given a uni- 
form place in the duct system, pref- 
erably in the top row, so that hand- 
holes can be built between manholes 
for service laterals without sinking 
them below the top row of ducts. 
The lower ducts are thus left va- 
cant for through lines which may be 
trained through the manhole below 
junction boxes, fuse boxes, etc., 
which it is desirable to mount on the 
walls of the manhole. 

Ducts should be selected for 
through lines so that they may be 
trained where the line changes di- 
rection with the least interference 
with other cables. If cables become 
interlaced it is very difficult to get 
at them to make repairs or altera- 
tions, and the danger of an arc 
spreading to adjacent cables cannot 
be guarded against properly. The 
routing of through lines should be 
such as to utilize duct lines to the 
best advantage. The extra ducts on 
streets remote from the station 
should be utilized to reduce the ex- 
tent of the heavy duct lines radiating 
from the station, as shown by the 
routing of lines in Figs. 8 and 9. 
It is apparent that the congestion of 
cables near the station is less in the 
arrangement in Fig. 9 than in Fig. 
8. It should be borne in mind that 
when a short section of a duct line is 
used the remaining portion may be 
rendered useless for through lines. 
It is therefore desirable to follow a 
route in a given direction as far as 
it is desired to go in that direction, 
except near the station where lines 
must be taken out in large numbers 
far enough to permit of separation 
into smaller runs. 

Vacant ducts which are blocked 
off in part of a route by use of the 
corresponding duct in the remain- 
der of the route are likely to remain 
idle investment, and where it is nec- 
essary to use a short length of a D 
duct route it will often be better 
economy to build the extra ducts 
over the short section than to use 
a part of the ducts designed for the 
main route. 

The cable having been selected for 
the requirements of the service it 
is to render, it is very important that 
it be properly installed and jointed, 
as the best of cable may be rendered 
useless by ignorance or carelessness 
of the principles governing a safe 
installation. The best practice for 
those who do not have enough cable 
jointing to maintain a force of men 
throughout the season, is to make 
their contracts for cable so as to 
include the installation and jointing 
work. The responsibility for any 
failure is thus centered at one point 

and is not likely to be evaded. How- 
ever, with a growing system addi- 
tions to the underground lines are 
constantly being made and it is de- 
sirable to have a force of men who 
can do such work and joint it up 










































Curve showing relation between temperature and current in 41O 3-C011- 
ductor lead covered cable 

6-32 in paper wall over each conductor 
4-32 in paper wall over the three conductors 
4-32 in lead outside wail 
Test madi- with cable in conduit in cold weather Other cabies in 
conduit are not heavily loaded 

Fig. 7 

properly even though they have to 
be used on other kinds of work be- 
tween times. The methods used in 
the installation of cables should 
therefore be familiar to central sta- 
tion engineers who have under- 
ground lines in their systems. 

Fig. 8 

January, 1909 



The first step in the introduction 
of a cable into a duct is the rodding 
of the duct. This is done for the 
purpose of introducing the line by 
which the cable is to .be drawn in. 
The rods consist of lengths of wood 
about one inch in diameter by three 
feet long, provided with detachable 
hooks so shaped that the lengths 
may be pushed into a duct until they 
project into the next manhole. They 
are then drawn through with the 
pulling line attached and disjointed 
as they come through. In some 
cases this work has been done by 
having a light line attached to a 
ferret, and sending the ferret 
through the duct after a rat. 

When the cable-puiling line is 
ready for use, it is run over pulley 
wheels out of the manhole and to 
the source of power. The reel of 
cable is set up on an iron bar so that 
it will revolve and pay out cable as 
it is drawn in. Enough men are 
placed at the reel and in the man- 
hole to guide the cable into the duct 
and prevent its sheath being injured 



Fig. 9 

as it passes through the manhole 

Power is supplied for pulling in 
various ways. With short runs and 
small cable, a few men can draw the 
cable in. With runs of 300 to 500 
ft., the most general power is a cap- 
stan manned by six or eight labor- 

ers. ' In some cases when heavy 
three-conductor cables are being 
pulled in long runs, an automobile 
truck has been used to advantage, 
the speed of the truck being reduced 
by block and tackle and by running 
the truck at slow speed. This per- 
mits of work being done more rapid- 
ly than with a capstan. The cables 
are secured to the pulling line by 
baring the copper and making a se- 
cure connection mechanically by 
wrapping. Large cables are some- 
times secured by a special form of 
cable grip shown in Fig. 10. This is 
quickly attached and removed and 
saves considerable time. The wear 
is considerable, however, and the 
grip must be renewed frequently. 

Where several cables are to be 
drawn into one duct they should be 
installed simultaneously by securing 
them to one line, as, if it is attempted 
to pull them separately, the duct 
cannot be utilized as freely as it 
should. Five single-conductor ca- 
bles of any size up to No. 4 can be 
drawn into a square 3 J^ -inch duct 
without danger of injury. 

Small cable is usually put up on 
reels and cut to fit as it is drawn in, 
but a length of about 400 ft. of three- 
conductor or high-voltage cable, or 
1,000,000-cm. feeder cable, fills a reel, 
and it is therefore usual to order 
such cable in specified lengths. The 
distance from center to center of 
manhole plus the amount needed for 
training around the walls of the 
manhole and splicing, is the length 
to be ordered. The reels are marked 
for delivery at certain street inter- 
sections and with the length of cable 
which they contain. It is important 
that such lengths be determined 
within a few feet as all short ends 
cut off by the jointer are of value 
only as junk, and may represent a 
considerable sum of money on a 
large job, where the cable costs 

from $1.00 to $2.00 per ft. The train- 
ing of cable through manholes must 
be carefully done to avoid sharp 
bends, tangled relations with other 
cables and possibility of injury due 
to exposure to workmen's shoes 
while entering or leaving the man- 
hole. It is customary to support 
cables in some localities on iron 
racks hung on the brickwork of the 
walls. In other cases brickwork 
shelves are built around the walls on 
which the cable is laid. In some 
large systems the important cables 
are laid in split tile ducts carried on 
shelves around the sides of the man- 
hole. The tile is made in short 
lengths with curved pieces suitable 
for covering the bends and being in 
two parts is easily applied after the 
cable is drawn in and jointed. The 
tile serves to protect adjacent cable 
from injury in case a transmission 
cable fails and also from possible 
injury from mechanical interference 
during the progress of work on 
other cables in the manhole. 

Where high voltage cable is car- 
ried through manholes on iron racks 
without protection, the failure of the 
cable at one point is apt to charge 
the lead sheath, and cause it to be 
damaged in adjacent manholes 
where the current attempts to pass 
from the lead to ground through the 
iron racks. It is usual to protect 
high tension cables in manholes to 
prevent the communication of 
trouble to other cables than the one 
which fails. This is done by wrap- 
ping them with asbestos tape, or 
some similar fireproofing material, 
in some cases, and in others by the 
use of split tile or brick shelving as 
described above. The tile is the 
most expensive but forms the surest 
protection where large station ca- 
pacity is back of the short circuit. 
Where lines are carrying loads of 
1000 kw. or more, of important light 
and power service, the extra cost of 
the tile protection is amply justified. 
With paper cables particularly 
and with other cables as a ru'e, the 
radius of bends must not be made 
too small. The shape of the man- 
hole walls and the manner of bring- 
ing the ducts into the walls should 
be designed with this in view. Gen- 
erally, the radius of a bend should 
not exceed eight or ten times the 
diameter of the cable. This is one 
of the chief limitations in the use of 
heavy concentric and multiple-con- 
ductor cables whose diameter is such 
that they could be trained through 
manholes with difficulty if larger 
sizes were attempted. In case of 
changes which necessitate the with- 
drawal of cable, the larger sizes may 
be ruined in passing over the idler 



January, 1909 

wheels as the cable emerges from the 
manhole due to the necessarily small 
radius at which it is bent. It is there- 
fore necessary to devise special 
means of pulling cable out without 
subjecting it to strain in passing 
over the idlers as is usually done 
with smaller cables in some cases. 
As soon as the lengths are drawn 
in the ends should be sealed to ex- 
clude moisture unless they are to be 
jointed at once. The work of joint- 
ing requires the services of an ex- 
pert, especially with high tension 
paper cables. In jointing single- 
conductor cables, the lead sheath is 
removed four to six inches back 
from the end of each piece of cable 
and enough of the copper bared to 
permit a good soldered connection 
being made as in any other cable of 
similar section. After soldering, the 
bare parts are wrapped with tape of 
the same material as the insulation 
until the equivalent of the cable in- 
sulation has been applied. A lead 
sleeve which has previously been 
slipped back over one of the cables 

erations of joining a three-conductor 
cable are illustrated in Fig. n. 

In jointing three-conductor cables, 
the load must be cut away further 

Fig. ii 

is now wiped on to the two cables 
so as to enclose the joint. The air 
spaces around the joint are then 
filled by pouring hot insulating com- 
pound into a small hole in one end 
of the sleeve until it does not settle 
down further. 

A similar hole should be left open 
in the other end of the sleeve to 
allow air to escape easily while 
pouring the compound. The open- 
ings in the lead sleeve are then 
closed by soldering, thus sealing the 
joint from moisture. The joint 
should be allowed to cool before it is 
moved so that the relative positions 
of the conductor and insulation will 
not be disturbed. The various op- 

Fig. 12 

back to facilitate the separation of 
the conductors while the tape is be- 
ing applied. If any sign of moisture 
appears in the ends of the cable, 
the end of the cable should be cut 
back until it is eliminated. If this 
cannot be done without removing 
too much, it may be necessary to 
drive it off by heating the cable with 
a blow-torch several feet back from 
the end. 

The presence of slight amounts of 
moisture should be guarded against 
by pouring hot compound over the 
bared ends. The compound should 
be hot enough to boil water, but 
not so hot as to char a piece of pa- 
per. In making joints for voltages 
of 6ooo and higher some special pre- 
cautions are necessary. It is very 
important that as little air remain in 
the taping as possible. If paper tape 
is used each layer should have com- 
pound poured over it before the next 
is applied. Some cable manufactur- 
ers prefer to use a cotton tape for 
this purpose on account of its ab- 
sorbent qualities. Some of the most 
successful cable systems have been 
jointed with specially prepared pa- 
per tubes. These are slipped back 
over the conductors before they are 
joined and are later secured in place 
over the taped joint, thus making a 
rigid mechanical separation between 
polarities. A large tube is slipped 
over all three conductors as further 
insulation to ground. The lead 
sleeve must be large enough to slip 
over the taped joints, and in three- 
conductor cable the space taken by 
the joints is such that the diameter 
of the sleeve must be from i inch 
to i}4 inch more than that of the 
cable. With single-conductor cable, 
V2 in. to t/a, in. more is usually 
enough. Where a tap is to be taken 

off, the sleeve may be arranged at 
right angles in the form of a T, or 
at an acute angle as in Fig. 12. The 
T Joint is usually difficult to dis- 
pose of on the manhole wall without 
straining the sleeve, while the other 
form may be trained along with the 
cable to which it is tapped. 

Where single-conductor cables are 
joined to multiple-conductor, the 
joint is made in a similar manner, 
the single-conductor cables being 
flared out slightly, to insure proper 
separation and to permit the proper 
wiping of the sleeve. 

Such joints are more difficult to 
make than straightaway splices and 
require considerable skill. The join- 
ter requires the services of a helper 
in preparing the lead sleeves, heat- 
ing solder and compound and guard- 
ing the entrance to the manhole. A 
three-conductor high-tension joint 
in a paper cable usually requires 
about four to five hours to complete, 
two joints *a day being a fair rate of 
progress in such work. Single con- 
ductor and low-tension cables do 
not require as long a time. 

In most primary distributing sys- 
tems in which part of the lines are 
underground, there are connections 
made between underground and 
overhead lines. It is usual to run 
feeders and important mains under- 
ground for some distance from the 
station in large cites, and then con- 
nect wth overhead lines in the more 
scattered areas. 


Fig. 13 

Where alley distribution is gen- 
eral the main lines are placed under- 
ground on streets at intervals of 
about one-half mile, and the local 
distributing taps taken off to over- 
head lines in alleys. In other loca- 
tions lines must be carried under- 

January , 1909 



ground across a boulevard, railroad, 
or stream. This class of distribu- 
tion was for many years very troub- 
lesome because 01 the difficulty of 
properly caring for the cable ends 
which are brought up the pole to the 
overhead lines. Plain joints made 
by stripping the lead back a few 
inches and covering with tape and 
compound were succeeded by wiped 
lead sleeves filled with compound 
and left open at the end where the 
line wire came out. In some cases 
the joints were protected by enclos- 
ing them in wooden boxings. All of 
these various forms were susceptible 
to the action of sun and rain, and 
were sooner or later located by 
lightning flashes or otherwise as the 
weak spots in the line. In recent 
years most of the large systems have 
been equipped with a form of porce- 
lain pothead devised by the authors 
to meet such conditions as they 
arose in great number in Chicago. 
The device is illustrated as ap- 
plied to a single-conductor cable in 
Fig. 13 and the manner of install- 
ing them is shown in Fig 14. 

The insulation is thoroughly 
sealed from moisture by the filling 
of hot compound. The cap being sim- 
ilar to an insulator sheds all water 
when properly taped and may safely 
be handled by a lineman when the 
circuit is alive at any pressure up 
to 5000 volts. The metal connectors 
provide means for opening or clos- 
ing the circuit with ease for re- 
pair or alteration work when de- 
sired. Other forms have been de- 
vised for cables carrying currents of 
100 amperes and upward and for 
multiple conductor cables, which 

Sec &v EF 

Fig. IS 

Fig. 14 

are shown in Fig. 15 and Fig. 16 

The arrangement of transformers, 
fuse boxes, junction boxes and simi- 
lar accessories in manholes should 
be worked out with care and fore- 
sight. Such apparatus should not 
be so placed in manholes as to ob- 
struct the introduction of other ca- 
bles at a later date or to make a neat 

6 and orderly arrangement of cables 
impossible. It is, first of all, impor- 

5 tant that manholes in which the larg- 
er pieces of apparatus, transformers 
or low-tension junction boxes are to 

3 be placed should be of ample size to 
accommodate them properly. 

2 Low-tension junction boxes for 
use in manholes are of two types, 
one of which is mounted on the wall 
in a vertical position, while the other 
is placed horzontally in the roof of 
the manhole with a separate cover 
so that it is accessible for replacing 
fuses or cleaning contacts above 
ground. The former type is perhaps 
the best as regards the training of 
cables as they may be kept in order 
on the walls of the manhole. The 
ability to do maintenance work on 
the surface is of some advantage in 

less congested districts where the 
traffic is light and the drainage of 
manholes not perfect, but in a busy 
street it is preferable to be able to 
do this work in the manhole where 
it is not interfered with by passing 
wagons or crowds of curious ob- 

In alternating current systems, 
wall space must be reserved for 
junction and fuse boxes and floor 
space is usually required where 
transformers are installed in man- 

In the design of the manhole and 
duct system, ample provision should 
be made for their proper ventilation. 
This not only applies to facilitating the 
exit of the heated air from the ducts 
themselves, but also to preventing, as 
far as possible, the entrance of gases 
that may be liberated in the ground 
outside. By a tight connection be- 
tween the duct and the hole, and suit- 
able arrangement for ventilation and 
draining the latter, the risk of the 
disastrous explosions that have from 
time to time occurred may be almost 
done away with. In some of the 
larger cities where underground wires 
are run in "subways," or aggregations 
of ducts, which are constructed by 
the municipality and rented to the 
public utility companies, the provisions 
made to guard against accidents of 
this sort have been so successful that 
an explosion, or, indeed, any disturb- 
ance due to poor ventilation has come 
to be a very rare occurrence. 

Fig. 16 

Power Factor Measured by Wattmeter 


THE usual method of metering- 
polyphase power is by means of 
a wattmeter having two single 
wattmeter elements mounted on one 
shaft and registering on one dial, that 
is, by the polyphase wattmeter. This 
type of meter as developed by one of 
the large manufacturing companies 
gives results that amply repay for its 
installation. Owing to the rush of in- 
creasing business, central stations are 
not always prepared for new custom- 
ers and must utilize apparatus in stock 
for purposes to which it is not adapted. 
These conditions have led to a very 
general adoption of single-phase watt- 
meters to the measurement of poly- 
phase power. 


Shunt Coil — =>•- 
Meter No. 1 


Series Coil 
Meter No. 1 

Shunt Coil 
Meter No. 2 

Series Coil 
Meter No. 2 

Fig. i 

Two single-phase wattmeters are 
connected in a three-phase circuit, 
each with its series coil in series with 
one wire and its shunt coil between 
that wire and the wire not connected 
to the series coil of the other meter. 
(See Fig. i.) When the load is bal- 
anced the sum of the readings of the 
two meters gives the amount of elec- 
tric energy delivered. 

The two meters record the same 
amount of energy when the power 
factor of the circuit is unity. With 
power factors less than unity, one 
meter runs faster than the other, and 
this difference in readings becomes 
greater and greater clown to a power 
factor of 50 per cent., when one meter 
stops. At power factors below 50 
per cent, one meter reverses, thus de- 
ducting from the kilowatt-hours pre- 
viously recorded. The ratio of the 
readings of the two meters corre- 
sponds to a definite power factor. 
Thomas M. Gibbes submits a chart. 
Fig. 5, which gives this relation in the 
form of a curve from which the aver- 
age a power factor of an installation 
can be determined by means of the 
readings of the wattmeters which 
measure the electric energy delivered 
to that installation. 

One of the wattmeters records an 


increase in total kilowatt-hours regis- 
tered over that at the previous read- 
ing. The other wattmeter may or 
may not record an increase in kilo- 
watt-hours, depending on the power 
factor of the load. A reverse reading 
is of rare occurrence, though provi- 
sion has been made for such cases by 
extending the curve to include all 
power factors. The wattmeters have 
been designated as Nos. 1 and 2 for 
convenience in reference. No. 1 is 
that wattmeter which gives the high- 
est reading. 

The method of finding the power 
factor of the load is to find the point 
on the curve where the straight line, 
drawn to represent the ratio of the 
two readings, intersects the curve. 
For instance, wattmeter No. I reads 
700 kw-hr. and wattmeter No. 2 reads 
350 kw-hr. The ratio of these read- 
ings is represented by the sixth 
oblique line counting from the top line 
downward. This oblique line inter- 
sects the curve at power factor .865, 
and the power factor is 86.5 per cent. 

If wattmeter No. 2 reads a loss of 
350 kw-hr., then the ratio of the read- 
ings is indicated by the sixth line from 
the lowest oblique line, and the power 
factor is .19 or 19 per cent. 

The proof on which the above state- 
ments are based runs somewhat as 
follows : 

Now 6 1 = <£ — a and 6 2 = <j> -f- a 
w 3 cos (4> — a ) 




r '1 



Fig. 2 

In a three-phase circuit the power 
can be measured by two wattmeters 
connected as shown, and is equal to 
the algebraic sum of the readings. 
Let w = watts read 
e = voltages 
a = currents 
w a = e 1 aj cos 6^ 
w 2 = e 2 a 2 cos 6 2 
Since e-L = e 2 \v 1 cos 8 1 

w 2 cos (4>-{-a) 

and since a = 30° tan a 
Substituting we get 


tan <f> = 

•577 (Wi-f-w,) 

On axis O X lay off w x 

On axis O Y lay off w 2 
From A as center draw semi-circle 
B < D, then E B = w a — w 2 , and on 
E D = w 1 -\- w 2 lay off O F = w x — 
w 2 . By construction lay off O H = 
•577 ( w i + w 2)> tnen tangent of 

(wi -w 2 ) 

angle I O L — ■ = 

•577 (w x +w 2 ) 
tan 4>. Draw circle I J K with radius 
equal to 1. Then O L = cos 4>. 
Lay off M N perpendicular to O X 
and equal to cos <j>. Draw O T 
through F I and from M draw M Q 

and a, = a 2 w 2 cos 6 2 

Fig. 4 

parallel to O I, then Q is point on 
same and other points can be found 

January, 1909 





Tan <j> = 

« V3 O - y) 

(x + y) 

•577 (wi +w 2 ) 

I L \/ 1 --cos <j> 
but tan </> 


cos <f> 

V3 (x— y) V' 1 — cos L> 

(x + y) cos<£ 

We then have 

rV3~(x — y)] 2 

COS <£ 2 I I = I COS <f> 2 

and L (x + y) J 

cos4> 2 [3 (x-y) 2 ] = (x + y) 2 - 

hence cos </> 2 (x + y) 2 

cos4> 2 [ 3 (x-y) 2 +(x + y) 2 J = 

(x + y) : 

cos <f> 


(x + y) : 

3 (x — y) 2 + (x + y) ; 


(w x + w 2 ) : 

3 (w x — w 2 ) 2 + (w, + w 2 ) : 

k\v. on wattmeter No. 2 indicates a 
power factor of 86.5 per cent, at the 
time of taking the reading. Readings 
must be taken at one time. It is im- 
portant that the load be balanced or 
the results obtained will not be any- 
where near accurate. 

The chart is plotted accurately from 
calculation, as it is intended to be a 
labor-saving device. However, some 
will prefer to plot a curve with the 
ratio of wattmeter readings and the 
power factor as coordinates. This 
can readily be done. Readings of 700 
and 350 give a ratio of one-half and 
power factor 86.5 per cent., similarly 
all the points may be plotted to in- 
clude all power factors. A curve ob- 
tained in this way is simpler than the 
chart, but the ratio of the wattmeter 
readings must be calculated every 
time a power factor is to be obtained. 

Some central stations are now 
equipped with graphic recording 
power-factor meters, which indicate 
the power factor at all times and 
record on a strip of profile paper the 

POWER FfiCTOff D/flGRffM. 



Fig. 5 

Cos <f> may therefore be taken propor- 
tional to the power-factor, which is 
the quantity under discussion. 

Readings of indicating wattmeters 
may be utilized for finding the power 
factor at the time of taking the read- 
ing. With two indicating wattmeters 
connected as per Fig. 1, a reading of 
700 kw. on wattmeter No. 1 and 350 

power factor accurately in per cent. 
Results can thus be compared with 
results secured at any previous time, 
and defects or improvements noted. 

The power factor of small feeders 
and that of any installation is meas- 
ured with a portable power-factor 
meter of the size and general appear- 
ance of a voltmeter. Small series and 

voltage transformers are made for 
use with this meter, so that one set 
suffices for measuring any load at any 

Buying on Chemical 

Where dimensions, weight, finish 
and the like may be readily expressed 
in specifications, it is easy and natural 
to make them conditions upon which 
purchases shall be accepted. But 
where strength, chemical composition, 
durability and similar factors of ulti- 
mate efficiency are of importance, 
specification of these features is all 
too often omitted. 

The reason is obvious, tests must be 
applied which usually call for equip- 
ment, knowledge and experience be- 
yond those possessed by the average 
buyer. He is then obliged to turn to 
the expert, but objects because of the 
initial expense and fails to recognize 
the ultimate economy. 

In every industry some material is 
being bought on the basis of brand, 
reputation, or even satisfactory expe- 
rience in its use without the least idea 
that equal efficiency might be ob- 
tained at a lower price with a suitable 
material whose composition could be 
specified in advance by the chemist. 
But where the purchaser is alive to 
all such savings they may be made to 
aggregate a considerable net amount 
after all expert service is paid for. 
The following experience is sug- 
gestive : 

The purchasing agent of a large 
electric railway company was recently 
buying of a reputable supply house a 
metal for journal linings, which gave 
good satisfaction. He was paying 20 
cents a pound and, in view of the na- 
ture of the material, felt that the price 
was high. A sample was submitted 
to the Arthur D. Little Laboratory in 
Boston for analysis. Upon receipt of 
their report the purchasing agent sent 
out for bids upon a metal of the com- 
position shown on analysis. A reli- 
able concern at once offered such a 
metal at six cents per pound. As the 
amount of metal used in a year was 
large, the saving by having the same 
metal made to their formula was well 
worth obtaining. 

Growth of Telephone - 

The forecast of the annual report 
of the New York and the New York 
and New Jersey Telephone Companies 
indicates that their earnings are larger 
than for any previous year. In spite 
of the so-called depression more than 
50,000 new instruments have been 
connected in the Metropolitan district, 
the total number on Oct. 1, 1908, be- 
ing 420,173. 



January, 1909 

Questions and Answers 

Question. — We have a load consist- 
ing of 85 old style 32-c-p. no-volt 
carbon filament lamps, put five in se- 
ries on a $$o-volt circuit. I figure 
they take nearly one ampere per 
cluster and wish to know what the 
losses in the circuit would be usinz 
No. 10 wire. The voltage is to be 
regulated to 550. 

Answer. — You do not state the 
length of wire in the circuit, so it is 
impossible to figure the losses. If the 
current in the lamp-clusters is one 
ampere for each and the voltage is 
550, the resistance of the lamps and 
wire must be about 550 ohms and the 
loss would be 550 watts for each 

group, or = 9.35 kw. for 

the whole load. 

Question. — Lately we have heard a 
great deal about "Load Factor." 
Please explain zuhat is meant by this 
phrase and why it is of such impor- 

Answer. — In the early days of the 
central station industry, charges for 
the service were made on a flat-rate 
basis. Later, when the waste and in- 
creasing demand had driven the flat 
rate out of existence, charges were 
based on the wattmeter readings at so 
much per kilowatt-hour. It was then 
discovered that the cost of produc- 
tion was not entirely proportional to 
the kilowatt-hour produced, but that a 
large element of the cost, known as 
fixed charges, which included inter- 
est, amoritization, depreciation, etc., 
on machinery necessary to supply the 
greatest probable demand was con- 
stantly going on whether the output 
metered was great or small. The dis- 
proportion which existed between ex- 
penses and income soon raised the 
question as to what proportion of the 
rated output was being actually ob- 
tained from the machinery installed, 
and how should the service charges be 
arranged to provide for the fixed 
charge element of the total cost of the 
kilowatt-hour sold, as well as for the 
fuel element. After much discussion 
in this connection, practice seems to 
have settled on the definition "load 
factor" as the ratio of the average 
load (for any given period, usually a 
year) in kilowatt- hours, to the rated 
capacity of the plant in kilowatts mul- 
tiplied by the number of hours con- 
sidered. For a year these would be 
8760, so that the expression for the 
load factor would usually be : 

Load factor equals yearly output 
in kilowatt-hours divided by rated 
capacity in kilowatts multiplied by 

In addition to the load factor as here 

defined, there are also two other ex- 
pressions which have arisen in con- 
nection with the discussion. They are 
the "factor of loading" and the "sta- 
tion load factor," or "curve load 
factor" as it is sometimes called. The 
first of these is written as follows : 

Factor of loading equals average 
load in kilowatts divided by maximum 
load in kilowatts. 

The maximum is usually taken as 
maximum peak lasting over one min- 
ute. This ratio is purely a function of 
the load, and cannot be changed or im- 
proved by anything done in the power 
plant itself. 

The station load factor is written: 
station load factor equals yearly out- 
put in kilowatt-hours divided by rated 
capacity multiplied by actual number 
of hours that the plant is in operation. 
Now as the income of a station is 
based on the metered output and the 
station expenses are based on fuel and 
minor incidental costs of the output, 
plus fixed charges which are approxi- 
mately proportional to the capacity of 
the plant, you can appreciate the im- 
portance of the ratio between these 
two quantities which is the load factor. 

As an example take a 1000-kw. 
plant, with a high load factor say 
about 80 per cent, at a price of 10 
cents per kilowatt-hour, the annual 
production and income would be as 
follows : 

Yearly output, 7,008,000 kw-hr. 
Yearly income, $70,080. 

Whereas, with a low load factor of 
say about 20 per cent, the annual out- 
put cost would be $1,752,000, and the 
yearly income $17,520. Yet the 
maximum demands in both these cases 
might be the same and the fixed 
charges would be the same in the two 
cases. The difference in the profit- 
ableness of the two suppositions is 
therefore due entirely to the factor of 
loading, and its effect on the load 
factor and consequent economy of the 

Question. — We have been operating 
on a no-volt single-phase, 133-rycte 
alternating current circuit, and re- 
cently changed over to do-cycle circuit 
of the same phase and voltage. We 
find that in order to keep the same 
voltage at our customers' premises we 
do not need to have the station voltage 
as high as heretofore. At the same 
time we have several arc lamps that 
burned out as soon as we changed 
over. Will you kindly explain the 

Answer. — The inductive drop in the 
line and transformers varies directly 
with the frequency, consequently it 
would be less at 60 cycles than at 133 
cycles. Naturally, this being the case 
the drop in the line is less and, there- 

fore, a less station voltage would have 
to be maintained in order to get the 
same voltage at the terminals of the 
line. The arc lamps were designed 
and connected with a certain amount 
of reactance for 133 cycles. Of 
course, when the 60-cycle current 
passes through these lamps there is a 
less reactive drop, with the consequent 
result that the current is increased 
and the lamps burn out. In most of 
the standard arc lamps on the market 
there is a coil in the lamp which en- 
ables the lamp to be run on different 
frequencies by simply changing the 

Question. — In order to increase the 
speed of a direct-current shunt-wound 
motor the field is weakened. A direct- 
current wattmeter is, we are told, the 
same as a motor. How is it that by 
increasing the field-current of the 
wattmeter the speed is increased? 

Answer. — It is true that the direct- 
current wattmeter is a motor. It is a 
motor, however, with very .little, if 
any, iron in the field. With any motor 
the torque is proportional to the pro- 
duct of the magnetic flux and the cur- 
rent. If there is no, or very little, iron 
the torque is proportional to the cur- 
rent. The armature of the meter is con- 
nected directly across the line and its 
speed is proportional to the e.m.f.'s 
generated, and the current therein is 
also proportional to the e.m.f. The 
torque of the motor is, as above 
stated, proportional to the current in 
the windings, therefore, the torque is 
proportional to the speed, and in the 
same manner the speed is proportional' 
to the current. 

-A. Jovian Correction 

At the Sixth Annual Meeting of the 
Rejuvenated Sons of Jove, held in 
Buffalo, N. Y., Mr. Alex Henderson, 
of New York City, offered a resolu- 
tion that at the close of each annual 
meeting the assembled Jovians drink 
a standing toast to the First Jupiter, 
Chas. W. Hobson, No. 1, of Dallas, 
Tex., to the following sentiment: 

"A single rose-leaf passed before a 
man while he is alive is productive of 
more happiness and joy than a moun- 
tain of flowers heaped upon his 

In the account of the proceedings 
of that meeting, prepared for and 
published by the electrical press of 
the country, the beautiful sentiment, 
given above, unfortunately, was 
quoted incorrectly, entirely robbing it 
of its delicate fragrance. 

In justice to Mr. Henderson, and 
in justice to the sentiment itself, we 
gladly publish the correct quotation 
at the request of the writer of the 
original article. 

January, 1909 



Westinghouse Electric 

Cash Balance at Cose of Year, 1907, 

Aggregated $10,902,000 With 

$2,346,000 Due on Stock 


The Westinghouse Electric & Man- 
ufacturing Co. starts the year under 
very favorable conditions. Its total 
cash balance December 31, 1908, ag- 
gregated $10,902,338. Including un- 
paid balance on stock subscriptions of 
$2,436,340, the total cash balance on 
December 31 was $13,248,677. 

The following statement gives the cash resources 

of the company at the present time: 

Bank balances January 4 $9,277,337 

Deposited in New York December 31, 
report received in Pittsburgh, Janu- 
ary 2 89,880 

Special deposit 1,536,120 

Total cash balance December 31, 

1908 $10,902,337 

Unpaid balance on stock subscriptions. . 2,346,339 

Total cash balance December 31, 
1908, including unpaid balance 
on stock subscriptions $13,248,677 

The sinking fund payment due De- 
cember 31, and all interest on funded 
debt due January i, has been deducted 
from the above balances. The bank 
notes as of October 23, 1907, payable 
in cash and not yet presented, amount 
to $25,000, and the accounts payable 
as of October 23, 1907, payable in 
cash and not yet paid, aggregate ap- 
proximately $12,000. 

The Westinghouse Electric & Man- 
ufacturing Co. has sent out checks for 
$562,725, representing interest due 
to-day on bonds, debentures, etc., set 
aside $500,000 due to the sinking fund 
on December 31, 1908, and paid 
$220,000 in settlement of sundry 
debts, preliminary to the opening of 
a new balance sheet. 

The company is now in a very 
strong position, a great deal of the 
credit for which is due to George 
Westinghouse, who was largely in- 
strumental in raising $17,785,000 
necessary to the discharge of re- 

Co-operation bet-ween the Central 
Stations and the Electrical 


During the past few years the 
manufacturers of electrical machin- 
ery have been realizing that the ex- 
tension of central-station business 
means indirectly the extension of their 
own business. With the end in view 
of encouraging the general adoption 
of electrical conveniences in the 
house, some of the more progressive 
manufacturers have been conducting 
an extensive campaign of educational 
advertising in non-technical maga- 
zines. This policy is based on the 
obvious fact that there are thousands 
of well-to-do families who can only 
be reached in this way. 

The story of this activity is set 
forth in a little publication, "What the 
Western Electric Company Is Doing 
to Increase the Central-Station Load." 
Issued to central-station managers, it 
shows many of the familiar adver- 
tisements that have appeared in the 
more prominent monthly and weekly 
magazines. It has met a hearty re- 
ception from those for whom it is in- 
tended, especially from such stations 
as are also in the jobbing business. 
It 'is far easier for the jobber to sell 
goods that have been liberally adver- 
tised, and the results of the campaign 
of education are much appreciated by 
these people. 

The Electrical Show 

Final preparations for Chicago's 
January Electrical Show are well un- 
der way, and the sale of space has 
been so large that there is every rea- 
son to believe that the coming show 
will be the most comprehensive and 
interesting of all the four shows the 
Electrical Trades Exposition Com- 
pany will have given. Every branch 
of the electrical field will be repre- 
sented and the exposition will main- 
tain its reputation as Chicago's "Bil- 
lion Dollar Show." Notwithstanding 
the fact that the scheme of decoration 
employed last year was outlined as a 
permanent proposition, at a cost of 
$25,000, changes will be made for the 
decoration of the coming show, which 
will cost, approximately, as much as 
was expended a year ago. The dec- 
orations will be fully as elaborate, 
employing an entirely new scheme of 
lighting. Special arrangements are 
being made for electrical attractions 
which will be of interest to the gen- 
eral public, and the trade exhibits this 
year will include more working ex- 
hibits than have been shown hereto- 
fore. Assistant Manager John J. 
Schayer, who has had charge of this 
year's show owing to the illness of 
Homer E. Niesz, feels particularly 
gratified with the results as they now 
stand, and predicts that the January 
show will draw the banner figures in 
the matter of attendance. The com- 
plete list of exhibitors to date is as 
follows : Crane Company, Common- 
wealth Edison Co., Wagner Electric 
Co., Federal Electric Co., Cutler- 
Hammer Co., Pyro One-Light Sign 
Co., Shelton Electric Co., Lindstrom, 
Smith & Co., Western Insulation Co., 
National Battery Co., Perfection 
Vacuum Cleaning Co., Chicago Fuse 
Wire & Mfg. Co., Electric Appliance 
Co., The Excello Arc Lamp Co., Kel- 
logg Switchboard & Supply Co., The 
Stoltz Electrophone Co., Stromberg- 
Carlson Telephone Mfg. Co., Mathias 
Klein & Sons, Telephony Publishing 

Co., Manhattan Electrical Supply Co., 
Ft. Wayne Electric Works, Electrical 
World, Benjamin Electric Co., Elec- 
trical Record, Central Electric Co., 
International Correspondence Schools, 
McRoy Clay Works, Chicago Pneu- 
matic Tool Co., Robbins & Myers, 
Appleton Electric Co., United Pump 
& Power Co., Commercial Appliance 
Co., Electric City Publishing Co., 
Taussig & Babcock, Western Elec- 
trician, Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. 
Co., Autoelectric Sign Co., General 
Electric Co., American Steel & Wire 
Co., National Acme Mfg. Co., Hahl 
Automatic Clock Co., Swedish-Amer- 
ican Telephone Co., Swedish Electric 
Vibrator Co., Popular Electricity Pub- 
lishing Co., Peerless Light Co., Palm 
Engineering Co., Pacific Electric 
Heating Co., Duntley Mfg. Co., Na- 
tional Automatic Advertising Co., 
Jewell Electrical Instrument Co., 
Roth Bros. & Co., Crescent Company, 
H. W. Johns-Manville Co., Red Cross 
Antiseptic Co., Northern Electrical 
Mfg. Co., A. W. Kratz, Illinois Elec- 
tric Renovator Sales Co., Hurley Ma- 
chine Co., Murphy Electricity Recti- 
fier Co., National Electric Lamp- 
Assn., Electrocraft Publishing Co.,. 
Electrical Testing Laboratories,. 
American Electric Fuse Co., The- 
Caloric Company, The Allis-Chalmers,. 
North Shore Electric Co., Simplex 
Co., Cyclone Storage Battery Co., 
Electric Storage Battery Co., F. B. 
Badt & Co., Chicago Telephone Co., 
Mechanical Appliance Co., Western 
Electric Co., The Connersville Blower 
Co., Electric Cleaner Co., Pelongo 
Electric Heater Co., C. S. Neville & 
Co., Men's Ear Phone Co., National 
Carbon Co., and The Electrical 

The show will run from Saturday, 
Jan. 16th, to Saturday, Jan. 30th — 
thirteen days against twelve hereto- 
fore. There will be several conven- 
tion and souvenir days. 

New "Westinghouse Nernst 

Besides establishing a new mini- 
mum in the price of light of the best 
quality, the new Westinghouse Nernst 
system is responsible for the develop- 
ment of a line of chandeliers that give 
a greater volume of light for a small 
light source than it is possible to get 
with any other incandescent chande- 
liers ever made. 

These chandeliers now being put on 
the market are made in highly artistic 
designs in Renaissance and Art Nou- 
veau. They are made in solid castings 
or in a combination of castings and 
spinnings, and finished as standard in 
statuary bronze and satin brass. 

The novel feature about these chan- 



January, 1909 

deliers is the arrangement of the 
mechanism of the lamps in the cen- 
tral ornamental ball which conceals it 
completely and at the same time makes 
it easily accessible. 

This leaves nothing" at the ends of 
the arms except the small screw base 
burners, and these occupy less space 
than any other incandescent lamps of 
equal candle power. The 132- watt 
burner, for instance, giving light 
equivalent to that of seven 16-c-p. 
carbon filament lamps, occupies a 
space at the end of the arm of only 
3x4^ inches. This makes it possible 
to get a large volume of light without 
using a multiplicity of sources or in- 
fringing the law of proportions by 
making the sources too large for the 
other parts of the chandelier. 

Review of the Technical Press 

Leading Articles of General Technical 

[Electro-Chemical and Metallurgical 
Industry, January.] 

"The Largest Electric Steel Works," 
Joseph W. Richards. 
An account of the new 200-ton 
electrical steel refining works that are 
being erected by "The Paul Girod 
Electro-Metallurgical Processes Com- 
pany" at Ugine in the Savoy. This 
plant will ultimately absorb 22,000 
h.p. and is expected to be put in com- 
mission in March. The output will 
be high quality steel for special pur- 

""Experiments on Melting in the In- 
duction Furnace," F. A. J. Fitz- 

Record of test run made by the 
writer at Niagara Falls with an induc- 
tion furnace of about one ton's capac- 
ity. The energy consumption per 
long ton was 476 kw-hrs. 

"Heat Conductance and Resistance of 
Composite Bodies," Carl Hering. 

A theoretical discussion of the heat- 
characteristics of different composite 

"Smelting Iron Ore in the Electric 
Furnace in Comparison with 
Blast Furnace Practice," Joh. 

A comparison of the costs and feasi- 
bility of electric furnaces. He finds 
under the conditions given that the 
blast furnace process costs $6.84 per 
ton, while the electric furnace costs 
$9.70. This is based on charcoal at 
$12.00 per ton and electric power at 
$20.00 per kw-year. He concludes 
that under such conditions the electric 
furnace would be advisable only in 
small sizes and in special cases. 

"Silundum: a New Product of the 
Electric Furnace," F. Boiling. 

A description of a new form of 
silicon carbide, which is a sort of a 
half brother to carborundum and 
promises to be useful in many ways, 
as it is very hard and heat-resistant. 

[Electric Journal — December.] 

"Notes on Single-Phase Railways," 
Clarence Renshaw. 
Some observations on the constrvtc- 
tion and operating of various single- 
phase railroads equipped by the West- 
inghouse Electric & Manufacturing 
Co. The mileage of these roads has 
now passed the 1000-mile mark. 

"Shop Side of Engineering Indus- 
tries," C. B. Auel. 

Dwells on the opportunities and ad- 
vantages of work in the shop end of 
the factory as compared with those 
presented in the office end. 

"The Application of Low-Pressure 
Steam Turbines to Power Gener- 
ation," J. R. Bibbus. 

From the author's paper before the 
November meeting of the Canadian 
Society of Civil Engineers. A lengthy 
discussion of the advantages presented 
by this, the latest important develop- 
ment in steam turbine practice. Illus- 
trated with several views and curves. 

"Three-phase — Two-phase Transmis- 
sion with Standard Transform- 
ers," L. A. Starett. 

Show's how, in certain cases, the 
phase-transformation may be made 
with ordinary transformers. 

"Meter and Relay Connections," Har- 
old W. Brown. 

Continues the series, and gives dia- 
grams showing the various connec- 
tions for three-phase three-wire cir- 

[Electrical Record — January.] 

"Fire-proof Motors and Switches," F. 
A. Barron. 

Tells of the latest provision for ren- 
dering certain special kinds of motors 
proof against fire and hard usage. 

"Advertising Possibilities in Connec- 
tion with Monthly Central Sta- 
tion Bills," A. E. Hodefield. 
Gives some of the latest schemes in 

the central station advertising field. 

[Electrical Review — January 1] 

"The Corona Effect and its Influence 
on the Design of High-Tension 
Transmission Lines," Lamar 

Abstract of the author's paper read 
before the November meeting of the 

Philadelphia Branch of the American 
Institute of Electrical Engineers. 

A lucid presentation of the effect of 
this phenomenon on the economy of 
very high voltage transmission lines, 
both from a mathematical and experi- 
mental standpoint. 

Mr. Lyndon first gives a clear de- 
scription of the corona and its dis- 
charges, then discusses in a simple 
form the mathematical treatment of 
the problem as presented as indicated 
by the investigations of Steinmetz, 
Ryan and Mershon, and follows these 
with several curves showing the re- 
lation between the losses and sizes of 
the conductors and between the losses 
and conditions of the atmosphere. 

The case of a 100,000-kw. 250,000- 
volt 300-mile transmission line is then 
taken up and worked out. With jute- 
cored cables, 1.5 inch in diameter and 
separated by 90 inches, the total cost 
is estimated at $14 per kilowatt, not 
counting the total cost of right of 
way, with losses and regulation com- 
parable with present practice. 

The conclusions reached are sub- 
stantially the same as previously 
found by Mershon. The important 
factors are the curvature of the con- 
ducting surfaces, the separation dis- 
tances between conductors and the 
condition of the atmosphere. 

"Modern Fireboats," O. H. Caldwell. 
A description of two electrically 
propelled fire-boats owned by the City 
of Chicago. They are propelled by a 
660-h.p. Curtis turbine, on whose 
shaft is connected a 5500-gallon cen- 
trifugal pump and a 200-kw. 275-volt 
direct-current generator, two 250-h.p. 
200 rev. per min. variable speed re- 
versing type motors direct-coupled to 
the propeller shafts. Perfect control 
is obtained directly from the pilot- 
house, enabling the boat to be better 
handled than is possible with steam- 
driven propellers. 

"Belt Leakage in Induction Motors," 
R. F. Hellmund. 

A diagrammatic treatment of cer- 
tain leakage losses in induction motors 
and a discussion of the effect on them 
of various types of windings. 

[Electrical World, January 2] 

"Quarry Street Station of the Com- 
monwealth Edison Company, Chi- 
cago," Wm. Keily. 

A description of the above plant 
which is designed for an ultimate 
capacity of 84,000 kw. The station is 
of special interest in that it is equipped 
with 14,000-kw. turbo-generators, 
which are the largest so far attempted, 
and that practically smokeless com- 
bustion is secured. 

January, 1909 



"Bituminous Gas- Producer Electrical 
Plant," Eloert A. rlarvey. 
A full description of a 2000-h.p. 
producer gas plant supplying power 
for the operation of an electrical plant 
which drives the factory of the Gar- 
ford Company, manufacturers of auto- 
mobiles at Elyria, O. Not all of the 
gas produced is used for producing 
power ; but some summaries are given 
which show that the total cost of the 
fuel gas is about 33 cents per equiva- 
lent of 1000 feet of natural gas, coal 
being at $2.20 per ton delivered. Un- 
der these conditions, the total unit cost 
for the output of the electrical power 
plant, which consists of three 130-kw. 
225 rev. per min. direct-current ma- 
chines, is 2.45 cents per kilowatt-hour, 
of which 1.2 cent are charged to oper- 
ating costs. The load factor is low, 
the output being 525,000 kw-hrs. per 
year corresponding to a factor of 
about 18 based on two machines only. 

"Chart for the Calculations of Size of 

Conductors for Transmission 

Lines," L. A. Herdt. 

A variation from the ordinary way 

•of using the well-known Mershon 


[Engineering Magazine, December.] 

"The Economy of the Individual 
Motor Drive for Machine Tools," 
H. S. Knowlton. 

A careful and well-illustrated dis- 
cussion of the economy of individual 
motor drives in factories, machine 
shops and similar situations. 

[Power and the Engineer, January 5.] 

"An Extensive Power Plant in the 
South," Cecil P. Poole. 

A description of the extensive prop- 
erties of the Southern Power Com- 
pany, liberally illustrated and provided 
with maps and plans. The company's 
ten-hour load is now about 50,000 h.p. 

"New Turbine Plant at Allentown, 
Pa.," John I. Baker. 

An article describing a steam tur- 
bine 8000-kw. alternating-current 
plant whose feature of special interest 
is the coal and ash handling lay-out. 

News Notes 

Dossert & Company, 242 West 41st 
Street, New York City, have received 
orders from the United Electric Light 
■'& Power Company, of New York City, 
for a large number of solderless con- 
nectors for use in the 146th Street 
substation, including elbows for con- 
necting ingoing and outgoing solid 
buses through oil switches, lugs for 
connecting solid round to flat buses, 
special lugs on remote control switches 
and special two-way studs tapping 

from No. 0000 solid rod direct to buses. 
The Pacific Gas & Electric Company, 
San Francisco, Cal., have also placed 
an order with the company for a large 
assortment of cable taps, front con- 
nected lugs, swivel lugs and angle 

The Phoenix Glass Company of 
New York, Pittsburg and Chicago, 
has retained the Bureau of Illuminat- 
ing Engineering, 437 Fifth Avenue, 
N. Y., to act as consulting and design- 
ing illuminating engineers, in the mat- 
ter of designing or redesigning glass 
globes and reflectors, as manufactured 
by them, so that beauty and utility will 
be sensibly blended. Mr. Albert J. 
Marshall, Chief Engineer of the Bu- 
reau, will have direct supervision of 
this work. 

The Blackburn-Smith Feed Water 
Filter and Grease Extractor has been 
chosen for the new Colliers, Mars, 
Hector and Vulcan, now being built 
for the U. S. Navy by the Maryland 
Steel Co. These ships have the high- 
est class of equipment, and every 
possible protection. The filters are to 
be placed in the feed lines, so that 
every drop of water entering the boil- 
ers is subjected to the double filtra- 
tion, characteristic of the Blackburn- 
Smith Filter. It is figured that by 
removing the oil and grease particles 
from the -condensation, the filters will 
repay their cost in a short time by de- 
creasing boiler repairs and increasing 
fuel economy. These filters are also 
excellent for protecting the boiler of 
stationary plants from floating parti- 
cles of oil, grease, mud, etc., in the 
feed water. They are made by James 
Beggs & Co., 109 Liberty St., New 
York, who are distributing an inter- 
esting booklet on Feed Water Filtra- 

George C. Smith, an executive 
officer and director in many auxiliary 
Westinghouse companies, has been 
appointed by the new board of direct- 
ors of the Westinghouse Electric & 
Manufacturing Co. as its special rep- 
resentative in connection with its in- 
terests in a large number of electric 
railway and electric power companies 
whose securities are held as invest- 

Among the companies are the Lack- 
awanna & Wyoming Rapid Transit 
Co. and subsidiary companies, Ni- 
agara, Lockport & Ontario Power 
Co., Electric Power Securities Co. of 
Niagara Falls, Grand Rapids, Grand 
Haven & Muskegon Railway Co. and 
Atlanta Water & Electric Power Co. 

Mr. Smith's headquarters will be in 
the City Investment building, New 

The Allis-Chalmers Co. recently 
filled a train of 14 cars with the water 

end only of two huge vertical triple- 
expansion pumps, one purchased by 
the City of Chicago for installation in 
its Lakeview pumping station, and the 
other by the San Antonio Water Com- 
pany, of San Antonio, Texas, as an 
addition to its present equipment. 

The pump for the City of Chi- 
cago is of the vertical, triple-expan- 
sion type, as above noted, having 
three single-acting direct-flow pumps, 
equipped with automatic valves and 
provided with a flywheel. The engine 
is entirely self-contained in the pump 
chambers. This unit is guaranteed to 
develop a duty of 155,000,000 foot- 
pounds of work delivered to the pump 
for each 1,000,000 B.t.u. used by the 
engine and auxiliaries when pumping 
continuously at the rate of 25,000,000 
gallons in 24 hours against a total 
head of 140 feet. 

The San Antonio pump is prac- 
tically a duplicate of the Chicago one. 
The normal and economical rating 
will be 20,000,000 gallons in 24 hours, 
but the Allis-Chalmers Company guar- 
antees the unit to furnish 24,000,000 
gallons in 24 hours to meet any ex- 
cessive demands for water, as in the 
case of fire or extremely hot weather, 
without unduly straining either engine 
or pump. 

The Allis-Chalmers Company 
claims to have built the first vertical, 
triple-expansion pumping engine for 
water-works service in any country, 
some 25 years ago, which is still run- 
ning, and it is said that the world's 
record for economy is held by a pump 
of the same make and type. 

New orders at the shops of the 
Westinghouse Electric & Manufactur- 
ing Company, turned in recently, ac- 
cording to reports from Pittsburg, 
were with the railway department, in- 
cluding one for the equipment of 200 
cars for the Third Avenue Railroad 
Company of this city, with a large 
amount of power house apparatus, re- 
presenting an expenditure approxi- 
mating $500,000. Another contract of 
importance taken by the Westing- 
house people was an order for fifty- 
five mining locomotives from the 
Clinchfield Coal & Coke Company of 
Clinchfield, W. Va., to be used for the 
transportation of coal in that com- 
pany's mines. The East Pittsburgh 
shops are also busy with the construc- 
tion of a quantity of electric railway 
apparatus for the Spokane & Inland 
Railway Company of Spokane, Wash., 
to be used in the extension of that 
company's single-phase system ; while 
two 4000-h.p. water wheel generators 
are being furnished to the Southern 
Power Company of Charlotte, N. C. 

Warren Webster & Company, of 
Camden, N. J., announce that the 



January, 1909 

business heretofore carried on by the 
American Engineering Specialty Co. 
with headquarters at Chicago, and 
branches and agents in various cities 
of the Middle West, will be conducted 
in the name of Warren, Webster & 
Co. This change will give to archi- 
tects, engineers, contractors, users and 
intending purchasers of "Webster" 
apparatus the full advantages of the 
company's organization, which now 
covers all parts of the country. 

Universal Insulator Supports 

It has long been a well-recognized 
fact that the most difficult part of a 
wiring job in steel frame mill and fac- 
tory buildings has been the devising, 
making and erecting of all manner of 
special work for securing the insula- 
tors on which the wiring is to be sup- 
ported. This work has to be done by 
the most skilled and experienced man 
available or laid out by a competent 
draughtsman. It is expensive in any 
event, and it is seldom that two jobs 
are done in anything like the same 
way, each individual having his own 
method. All this special work must be 
schemed out and completed before the 
actual work of wiring can be started. 
After the supports have been schemed 
out and the wire is up, it will be found 
that a great deal of wood has been 
used and probably a considerable num- 
ber of holes drilled in the ironwork. 

name implies — universal in applica- 
tion. They can be used in any position 
on the hangers of any rolled struc- 
tural shape, beams, angles, channels, 
"Z" bars, round, square and flat bars, 
gas and water pipes, edges of tanks, 
plates, etc. 

They are made of the best malleable 
iron and will stand rough use without 
breaking. They are light enough for 
light work and heavy enough to stand 
the strain of heavy work. The cup- 
pointed, hardened steel set screws hold 
them securely, and they will not 
loosen, even when subjected to the 
most severe vibration. 



Wood introduces the element of 
danger from fire and dries out, allow- 
ing the supports to loosen. Holes 
weaken the ironwork, and in some 
cases might lower the safety factor 
to a dangerous extent. Wires are 
often changed from their original lo- 
cation when the special work becomes 
worthless scrap and new special work 
has to be devised. 

It is needless to state that the cost of 
special work and the drilling of holes 
in iron is very costly, to say nothing of 
the loss occurring when special work 
must be scrapped. Universal Insulator 
Supports are cheap in first cost, do 
away entirely with special work, save 
time in the actual work of erection 
and are never scrap ; but when taken 
down from one job go directly into 
stock ready for the next. 

Where wire is to be supported from 
iron or steel fabrications, Universal 
Insulator Supports are all that the 

Mr. H. B. Thayer, president of the 
Western Electric Co., of New York, 
is making a short visit to Europe. 

Mr. Walter J. Jones, who was asso- 
ciated with the late Dr. F. A. C. Per- 
rine, will continue the firm's consult- 
ing engineering practice at the offices, 
60 Wall St., New York. 

Mr. G. E. Tripp, of Stone & Web- 
ster, of Boston, Mass., has been re- 
tained by the committee in charge of 
the affairs of the Metropolitan System 
of New York to make an examination 
of the property and formulate a plan 
for its reorganization. 

Mr. E. T. Munger has severed his 
connection with the Metropolitan 
West Side Elevated Railway Co. of 
Chicago, where he was superintendent 
of motive power and equipment, to be- 
come general superintendent of the 
Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, oper- 
ating under the Hudson River be- 
tween New York and New Jersey. 

Mr. E. G. Eager, of Toledo, Ohio, 
has been engaged by the Goodwin & 
Kintz Co., of Winsted, Conn., as their 
agent in the Philippines, Australasia 
and New Zealand. Mr. Eager is now 
in the Fiji Islands, and will be gone 
for a period of 18 months, during 
which time he will display to the buy- 
ers of those far-off countries the elec- 
troliers, portables and other electric 
lighting specialties made by Goodwin 
& Kintz. 

Catalogue Notes 

The Harrison Safety Boiler Works, 
of Philadelphia, have reprinted from 
"The Bookkeeper" a useful article on 
"Steam: Its Profitable Utilization," by 
Geo. H. Gibson. 

The Wagner Electric Manufactur- 
ing Company, St. Louis, has issued 
their bulletin No. 82, giving a com- 
plete description of its line of poly- 
phase motors. The bulletin is re- 
enforced by a pamphlet on "The Poly- 

phase Motor in a Shop," whose title 
explains its purpose. 

The Wm. H. Colgan Company, of 
West Newton, Mass., has issued a 
catalogue describing the "Rex" line of 
outlet and switch boxes. - 

The Western Electric Company, of 
New York, has issued a bulletin de- 
scribing and illustrating the new 
Roteau type of steam turbine which it 
has recently placed on the market. 

The Fort Wayne Electric Works 
has gotten out a useful pamphlet en- 
titled "A Practical Guide for Trans- 
former Testing." The subject is ex- 
plained with the aid of numerous dia- 
grams and curves. 

The Fort Wayne people also have 
sent out a bulletin describing their line 
of revolving field engine-driven alter- 

The Jeffrey Manufacturing Com- 
pany, of Columbus, Ohio, has sent out 
its catalogue 67D, describing the Jeff- 
rey line of "Rubber Belt Conveying 
Machinery." The catalogue is pro- 
fusely illustrated with photographs of 
numerous installations of this type of 
machinery and the parts necessary for 
their maintenance. 

The engineering department of the 
National Electric Lamp Association 
has issued bulletin No. 8, 35 pages, 
containing a complete list of the reg- 
ular type of miniature carbon filament 
lamps for decorative effects, battery 
inspection, automobile, telephone and 
special service. 

The General Electric Company has 
issued its Fan Motor Catalogue for 
1909, containing illustrations, descrip- 
tion and prices of the company's entire 
line of fan motors for the coming 
season. The list comprises alternating 
and direct-current fan motors for 
desk, bracket, ceiling, floor column 
and counter column fans in various 
sizes together with their supply parts. 
The bulletin also describes ventilating 
and miscellaneous small power motors 
for alternating and direct-current. 

The General Electric Company has 
also issued the following bulletins : 

No. 3715. — Describing mercury arc 
rectifiers for telephone battery charg- 

No. 4633 — Covering motor-gener- 
ator sets and frequency changes. 

No. 4628 — Describing the G. E. 
mercury arc rectifier. 

No. 4629 — Devoted to all sorts of 
electrical accessories for automobiles. 

No. 4626 — Telling about the series 
luminous arc rectifier system. 

No. 4631 — Describing the series al- 
ternating enclosed arc lighting system. 

No. 4630 — Relating to type D. P.. 
direct-current portable instruments. 


Volume XL. Number 2. 

$1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy 

New York, February, 1909 

The Electrical Age Co. 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH, Pres. C. A. HOPE. Sec. andTreas. 


Telephone No. 64S8 38th. 

Private branch exchange connect ni all departments. 

Cable Address — RevoIvaLla. New York. 


United States and Mexico, SI. 00. 

Canada, $1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


insertion of new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the £o lowing issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 

Corporation Publicity 

In the rapid changes during the last 
few years in the relations between the 
great corporations of the United 
States, and the great public in which 
they live and move and have their be- 
ing, none has been more eagerly wel- 
comed, or more pregnant with the 
brightest promise for the future than 
that which has taken place in the mat- 
ter of publicity. 

In place of the atmosphere of sol- 
emn mystery which pervaded many of 
the executive offices of the great pub- 
lic service companies, the seeker after 
information now finds a clear, frank 
attitude, a recognition of "the right 
to know," and a willingness to facili- 
tate the acquisition of the knowledge 
that would stupefy many of the men 
who were in charge of these same 
properties 30 years ago. 

It is, therefore, a wonder to many 
of us when now and then someone 
comes forth to seriously question the 
wisdom of the policy of publicity. 
More marvelous still, to see the heads 
of some of the largest concerns, of the 
kind under consideration, clinging to 
the dwindling company of those who 
are apparently afraid to submit their 
financial transactions to the light of 
day. Yet it is true that many reputa- 
tions are being dimmed, and the re- 
sults of years of usefulness are im- 
paired by adherence to the old policy 
of concealment which has not merely 
survived its usefulness but become a 
stumbling and an offense. 

It is a far cry from the corporation 
statements of 1880 to those of 1909. 
In contrast with the few obscure lines 
of those days — if indeed anything at 
all was issued — we take pleasure in 
placing such statements as have come 

out recently in a great number of in- 

We now see set forth the complete 
story of the financing, maintenance 
and operation of the properties. Full 
information is given as to bonds, 
stocks, notes payable, gross earnings, 
operating expenses, net earnings, fixed 
charges, net divisible income, divi- 
dends, and the whole array of useful 
record data of expenses and earnings 
per service unit or car-mile that so 
much facilitate the analysis and com- 
prehension of a modern corporation's 
activity. With this information before 
him, he who will take the trouble may 
gather a fair knowledge of the actual 
facts that confront the management 
of the corporation, and many things 
that looked suspicious and arbitrary 
in the twilight of concealment become 
rational and reasonable when seen in 
the noonlight of confidence. 

A great improvement is to be noted 
in the attitude of the people toward 
the corporations which have adopted 
the new methods. Evidences of it are 
everywhere. The tendency to foolish 
and ill-considered legislation regard- 
ing public service which has so often 
marred the record of various law- 
making bodies has subsided, the rau- 
cous note of the professional agitator 
— he of the sublime conviction of the 
innate vileness of the body corporate 
— has toned down. Less is heard 
from the noisy chorus of panacea- 
peddlers — doctrinaires who are willing 
and anxious to regulate anything in 
the heavens above, or the earth be- 
neath, or the waters thereunder. A 
clearer, calmer, fairer view of affairs, 
a more rational tone of discussion of 
them is the tendency of the day, and 
it will continue. 

It is true that publicity as now prac- 
tised costs money. The preparation 
of special accounts and statements, the 
reprinting and dissemination of in- 
formation, and, as has been done in 
many instances, the hiring of certified 
public accountants to verify the state- 
ments — all these and other incidental 
features total up a considerable ex- 
pense. But a few of us still remember 
those other expenses that belonged to 
the pre-publicity era. There is no 

Ask any wide awake corporation 
executive officer as to the financial re- 
turns on the money so invested— 

leaving aside its moral aspect — and he 
will probably tell you that it is one 
of the best investments his company 
has ever made. 

The growth of the new feeling is 
based on the fundamental principle 
that the interests and prosperity of 
the corporations and the people they 
serve and the people who serve them, 
are one and the same. The gratitude 
of the industrial world is due to those 
who, having first grasped this prin- 
ciple themselves, have helped by pre- 
cept and example to drive home the 
fact to the consciousness of all three a 

New Transit Legislation 

It is instructive to note that one of 
the most pressing duties with which 
the Public Service Commission of the 
First District of New York finds itself 
confronted is to secure amendments 
to some of the legislation that has 
been previously enacted. In the ab- 
stract of the report for the year just 
ended, on page 45 of this issue, we 
find no less than five such amendments 
asked for ; and in addition to these, 
which refer to the Rapid Transit Act, 
a constitutional amendment is recom- 
mended providing for the exemption 
from the city's 10-per-cent. debt limit 
of bonds issued for the construction 
of self-supporting rapid transit lines. 

To the uninitiated, it looks as if 
this is one more instance of the wis- 
dom of being sure you're right be- 
fore going ahead. As there is not the 
least doubt that any rapid transit line 
in New York City would be self-sup- 
porting if it was asked to earn a fair 
return solely on the money invested in 
construction and equipment, it would 
look but fair to provide for their 
financing — in the true sense of the 
word — without their coming on the 
city's permanent debt. Cannot this be 
done by arranging for the automatic 
retirement of the bonds from a sinking 
fund taken from the earnings? By 
this means the debt would in time 
cease to exist, and would encroach on 
no limits. 

It is hoped that other communities 
than New York (whose excuse for 
desperate legislation is the desperate 
needs of her case) will take warning, 
and give to their public service laws 
the amount of cool and careful judg- 
ment demanded by the importance of 
the subject. 




February, 1909 

The Ultimate Factor 

"The laborer is worthy of his hire." 

— St. Luke, 10 : 7 

Since the dawn of modern in- 
dustrialism, the highest inventive 
genius, the greatest technical skill 
have been unwearied in the ef- 
fort to improve processes and 
in perfecting machinery. Millions of 
dollars' worth of apparatus have been 
sent to the scrap pile in a condition 
almost as good as new because some 
new turn in the design or combina- 
tion of processes has developed some- 
thing else that would do the work a 
little better or a little faster. Other 
millions have been freely expended on 
experiments, in the hope that they 
would lead the way to improvement 
of the work that the industrial unit 
is devoted to turning out. Tireless 
patience, and limitless human nerve- 
energy, have been lavished on the ma- 
chine and on the processes wrested 
from reluctant nature. 

Yet by some strange mischance the 
most important factor in the whole 
scheme of industrial affairs has been 
comparatively neglected until quite 
recently. We refer to the man — to 
adapt a phrase from warfare (and 
competitive industrialism is warfare) 
— we may call him "the man behind 
the machine." Cruel in many ways 
has been the bearing of the machine 
on the life of the man who is its 
partner in production. From the old 
position of the independent craftsman, 
proud of himself, his station and his 
craft, he has seen himself descend little 
by little, forced by the pitiless 
processes of specialization into the 
place of a mere machine-part, the 
bound attendant to an inanimate steel 
thing. From a knowledge of all the 
details of his work, and an intimate, 
almost equal relation with the head 
of the business, his outlook has been 
narrowed to the knowledge of a petty- 
part, he has become almost a name- 
less unit among the toiling hosts of 
the mill and factory, far off and per- 
sonally unknown to those whose 
wealth his toil helps to create. 

To-day we see signs of a change in 
all this. The captains of the industrial 
armies are at last waking to the real- 
ization of the facts. After spending 
the millions on the machine-part to 
get from it the last point of efficiency, 
they are finding that the place for the 
profitable placing of those same mil- 
lions is on the human-part. The last 
few years have seen the beginning 
of the change in the scene ; slowly, but 
surely, it has dawned on the brightest 
minds that the man behind the ma- 
chine is the most alluring field for the 
future improvement in industry. A 
whole new science, based on principles 

sound not only industrially but mor- 
ally, has grown up. The result of 
this has been the developing of the 
new methods of wage paying, as well 
as the new feeling of responsibility 
for the employee. The outcome of 
these efforts, which are based on an 
appeal to all that is best in both em- 
ployer and employee, has been fruitful 
beyond all the dreams of their pro- 
jectors. We hear of outputs running 
25 to 40 per cent, above those previ- 
ously obtained, simply by the intro- 
duction of the bonus system. Net 
earnings of companies wise enough to 
grasp the great principle involved and 
apply the methods have increased in 
even greater ratio. And, best of all, 
the worker is benefited materially and 
morally. His individuality is awak- 
ened, he comes to realize himself, to 
know his own worth and the knowl- 
edge spurs his ambition, his energy 
and his self-respect. 

This magazine reaches the hands of 
thousands of both classes — the em- 
ployer and the employee. The lot of 
the latter in the great electrical fac- 
tories and power plants, the railways 
and countless other industries that 
have been born of, or quickened by 
the growth of electrical processes, has 
been in no whit different from that 
of his fellow-workman elsewhere. It 
is with pleasure, therefore, that we 
direct the attention of our readers to 
the article in the current issue de- 
scribing the training school of the 
power department of a great hotel, 
whose management has been fore- 
sighted enough to devise a compre- 
hensive plan for the improvement of 
its working force and at the same 
time to materially decrease its operat- 
ing expenses. 

Just what importance these de- 
creases amount to in the plant may 
be realized when we state that the 
saving in the cost of the boiler horse- 
power, due in part to the effects of 
the bonus system on improving the 
firing, amounted to at least $5,000.00 
during the year just ended. 

Estimating the annual coal bill for 
power plants in New York alone 
at $30,000,000, a similar economy 
would mean a saving to plant owners 
of this city of more than $6,000,000, 
and this is only the material side of 
this question, and is based on what has 
actually been done. 

We believe that the details by which 
such results have been brought about 
have a direct bearing on a subject 
whose importance cannot easily be 
overestimated. For, after all, the man 
is the ultimate factor in all human 
activities and it is from him, in the 
firing-room as well as in the office, that 
the further improvements in the mass 
of modern industrial achievement 
must come. 

"Water-Power Control 

In a message to the House of Rep- 
resentatives, accompanying the veto of 
a bill to permit 'the construction of a 
dam across the James River, in Mis- 
souri, for the diversion of its waters 
for electrical power purposes, Presi- 
dent Roosevelt takes occasion to warn 
Congress that the control of the avail- 
able water-powers of the country is 
being acquired by a few powerful in- 
terests, without any regulating or lim- 
iting conditions, thereby threatening 
the well-being of the public. In part 
his message says : 

The people of the country are threatened 
by a monopoly far more- powerful, be- 
cause in far closer touch with their do- 
mestic and industrial life, than anything 
known to our experience. A single genera- 
tion will see the exhaustion of our natural 
resources of oil and gas, and such a rise 
in the price of coal as will make the price 
of electrically-generated water power a 
controlling factor in transportation, in man- 
ufacturing and household lighting and 
heating. Our water power alone if fully 
developed and wisely used is probably suf- 
ficient for our present transportation, in- 
dustrial, municipal and domestic needs. 
Most of it is undeveloped aiid is still in 
national or State control. 

To give away without conditions this, 
one of the greatest of our resources, would 
be an act of folly. If we are guilty of it 
our children will be forced to pay an annual 
return upon a capitalization based upon 
the highest prices which the "traffic will 
bear." They will find themselves face to 
face with powerful interests intrenched 
behind the doctrine of "vested rights" and 
strengthened by every defense which 
money can buy and the ingenuity of able 
corporation lawyers can devise. Long be- 
fore that time they may, and very proba- 
ably will, have become a consolidated inter- 
est controlled from the great financial cen- 
ters dictating the terms upon which the 
citizen can conduct his business or earn 
his livelihood and not amenable to the 
wholesome check of local opinion. 

The total water power now in use by 
power plants in the United States is esti- 
mated by the Bureau of the Census and 
the Geological Survev as 5,300,000 horse- 
power. Information collected by the Bu- 
reau of Corporations shows that thir- 
teen large concerns, of which the General 
Electric Company and the Westinghouse 
Electric and Manufacturing Company are 
most important, now hold water-power in- 
stallations and advantageous power sites ag- 
gregating about 1,046,000 horsepower, where 
the control by these concerns is practically 
admitted. This is a quantity equal to over 
19 per cent, of the total now in use. 

Further evidence of a very strong nature 
as to additional intercorporate relations 
furnished by the bureau leads me to the con- 
clusion that this total should be increased 
to 24 per cent. ; and still other evidence, 
though less conclusive, nevertheless affords 
reasonable ground for enlarging this esti- 
mate by 9 per cent, additional. 

In other words, it is probable that these 
thirteen concerns, directly or indirectly, 
control developed water power and ad- 
vantageous power sites equal to more than 
33 per cent, of the total water power now 
in use. 

Having thus sounded the alarm in 
characteristic fashion, the President 
presents his views as to the proper pre- 
ventive, repeating the words with 

February, 1909 



which he concluded his message veto- 
ing the Rainey River bill, as follows: 

In place of the present haphazard policy 
of permanently alienating valuable public 
property we should substitute a definite 
policy along the following lines : 

First — There should be a limited or care- 
fully guarded grant in the nature of an 
option or opportunity afforded within a 
reasonable time for development of plans 
and for execution of the project. 

Second — Such a grant or concession 
should be accompanied in the act making 
the grant by a provision expressly making 
it the duty of a designated official to annul 
the grant if the work is not begun or plans 
are not carried out in accordance with the 
authority granted. 

Third — It should also be the duty of 
some designated official to see to it that 
in approving the plans the maximum de- 
velopment of the navigations and power is 
assured, or at least that in making the 
plans these may not be so developed as 
ultimately to interfere with the better util- 
ization of the water or complete develop- 
ment of the power. 

Fourth — There should be a license fee 
or charge which, though small or nominal 
at the outset, can, in the future, be adjusted 
so as to secure a control in the interest of 
the public. 

Fifth — Provision should be made for 
the termination of the grant or privilege 
at a definite time, leaving to future genera- 
tions the power or authority to renew or 
extend the concessions in accordance with 
the conditions which may prevail at that 

Sixth — The license should be forfeited 
upon proof that the licensee has joined in 
any conspiracy or unlawful combination in 
restraint of trade, as is provided for grants 
of coal lands in Alaska by the act of May, 
28, 1908. 

He closes by asserting that he will 
sign no . bills granting privileges of 
this character that does not contain 
the substance of these conditions. 
Moreover, he promises to insist upon 
the observance of these same provi- 
sions in passing upon plans for the use 
of water-powers presented to the exec- 
utive departments for action. 

It would be instructive to know 
whether the statements made refer- 
ring to the General Electric and West- 
inghouse Company's water-power 
holdings, which are based on a report 
by his Commissioner of Corporations, 
Herbert Knox Smith, are absolutely 
true. On the same date that the mes- 
sage was issued one of the officers of 
the General Electric Company risked 
a nomination to the famous Ananias 
Club by stating that so far as he knew, 
the only water-power transmission 
property that the General Electric 
Company controlled was the modest 
one supplying energy to the works at 

The general impression regarding 
the facts of the situation is that the 
President has somewhat overstated 
the case. The usual plan of financing 
hydro-electric projects, which, except 
in very favorable instances, call for a 
large investment long before their in- 
come attains its growth, has been to 

induce the manufacturers supplying 
the expensive machinery to take at 
least a part of their payment in bonds. 
When the manufacturing companies 
have done this it of course remains 
optional with them to either sell the 
bond to some of the numerous bond 
houses that handle this sort of busi- 
ness, or hold them for the benefit of 
their expected income. Judging from 
the large number of water-power 
companies that are now in the hands 
of receivers, it would seem a sound 
policy to have let go of such bonds 
whenever they could be disposed of 
on reasonable terms. This is what we 
understand has usually been done. 

But, laying aside the present aspects 
of the case and looking into the future, 
the President is right in his conten- 
tions. A far-sighted, comprehensive 
policy in this matter will be of im- 
measurable benefit to those who come 
after us upon the land. And it is no 
minor matter that is involved. The 
dower of this country in water-power, 
while relatively less than that of .Nor- 
way or Switzerland, is, in the aggre- 
gate, of imperial proportions — more so 
than would appear from the figures 
mentioned above. Competent author- 
ities have compiled a table as follows : 


Value of annual income 
(At $35, per hp. per year) 
Developed horsepower 5,300,000 $185,000,000 

Undeveloped horsepower 8,100,000. . . . 350,000,000 

New England 600,000 

New York, Pa. and Middle States. 1,650,000 

Southern States 4,000,000 

Northern and Western States 1,050,000 

Pacific Coast 800,000 

These figures are based on mini- 
mum flow calculations. A reasonable 
estimate of the total available water- 
power assets of the United States is 
20,000,000 h.p., corresponding to a 
consumption of 300,000,000 of coal 
annually. This is equal to about 90 per 
cent, of the entire estimated produc- 
tion of soft coal for 1908. The value 
of the annual income, under the above 
assumption, would be five per cent, 
on $14,000,000,000! 

It seems to us that the public con- 
trol of this form of energy is peculi- 
arly fitting. For its beginnings are in 
the union of those ancient freeholds of 
the race — light and air. 

From the far reaches of the shining 
sea, the mighty energy of the sun 
draws up the countless atoms of 
water-vapor. Carried by the great 
air currents that are impelled bv the 
same radiant force that raised them 
up from the ocean, the vapors are 
borne across a thousand miles of land 
and sea until one day as snow or rain 
they fall uoon an upland. Out of a 
thousand fountains gush the waters 
to form the hurrying mountain stream. 
By many a winding path, past rock 
and bar the waters twist and turn. 

until, by union with other streamlets, 
grown to the dignity of a river, they 
find their way barred by a solid wall. 
From the pool so formed they turn 
into a channeled way made by the 
hand of man, along the side of the 
hill. At the end of a few feet or miles 
they rush into the blackness of a steel 
tube, falling through tens or thou- 
sands of feet until the accumulated 
pressure has imparted an energy com- 
parable with that of dynamite. Then 
they burst through a swinging door to 
light, relief and freedom once more. 

The hinge of that door is the shaft 
of a water-wheel or turbine, and into 
this line of steel passes the sun-born 
air-carried power of the water, and 
thence to the circuits of a generator, 
in the shape of electricity. From here 
it darts mechanical power, light, heat 
and comfort — and all of these are 
wealth — to the hearts of a hundred 
cities. And this goes on forever. So 
long as the sun shall draw the sea, 
and the winds shall blow, the power 
of the "white coal," as the French so 
aptly term it, shall minister to the 
wealth and well-being of the children 
of men, and men shall indeed be chil- 
dren if they let this rich gift of 
Nature slip from the control of the 
many into that of the few. 

rV.e-R.atirig' of Turbo-Generators 

Now and then a rumor passes that 
some of the big public utilities com- 
panies are contemplating changing the 
rating of the large turbo-generators 
that have been in service long enough 
for the operating force to have a 
pretty good idea of what the machin- 
ery can do. Of course the "re- 
rating" will not make a bit of dif- 
ference in the apparatus, but as it is 
understood that the units are op- 
erated on the bais of their factory 
ratings, if the re-rating is put into 
active operating effect the results may 
be of some value. 

The early designers of the turbo- 
generators were in a very different 
position from these who developed 
the older type of large-capacity slow- 
speed units. The former built up 
their product bit by bit. Pioneers in 
the field, they could set their own 
standards and none could cast asper- 
sions on them because of their fail- 
ure to meet some existing perform- 
ance. Thus, in comparatively few 
years, the familiar forms of the direct- 
current and alternating-current gen- 
erators were evolved and their char- 
acteristics were developed, corrected 
and pushed to the high degree of ef- 
ficiency that has made them worthy 
examples of the perfection and pre- 
cision of modern electrical engineering 

With the turbine unit the case was- 



February, 1909 

widely different. Like that other 
efficient entity — the Prussian people — 
the turbo-alternator grew up to its 
present estate under a tremendous 
competitive pressure. Every turbine 
machine that was placed on the mar- 
ket was in competition with the well- 
established slow-speed engine driven 
type. To live, the newcomer had not 
only to "make good," but to "make 
very good." And though efficiency 
was an important consideration, op- 
erating stability and endurance was 
still more important, and conserva- 
tive engineers questioned the operat- 
ing performance promised of the tur- 
bine unit much more than they did 
other advantages claimed for it. 

The result of this atmosphere was 
that the turbo-generator designers 
were themselves forced to be as con- 
servative as they might be. "Daring 
with caution" might have been their 
watchword — daring where necessary, 
cautious where possible. 

As pointed out in a recent editorial, 
given a prime mover of ample force, 
the out-put of an electric generator 
depends on its capacity to endure 
high temperatures and radiate heat. 
At first sight, the ventilating ques- 
tion in a large turbo-alternator 
would look to be what it is — a seri- 
ous one. Comparing, for instance, 
the radiating surfaces of the arma- 
ture iron and copper in the two types 
of machinery of approximately the 
same rated output capacity. It will 
be noted that while each is, roughly 
speaking, an annular surface, the di- 
mensions of what might be termed the 
"ventilating ring" in the two cases are 
approximately as follows : 

in feet 

Total Area 








Sq. ft. 

Sq. in. 

Engine Unit. . . . 
Turbine Unit 









Comparing the amount of heat 
energy that has to be radiated across 
this area on the assumption that the 
armature copper and iron losses are 
the same — and this is nearly the case 
— we find that the dissipation on the 
turbine-alternator must be nearly four 
times greater than on the engine- 
driven unit. 

Taking the full-load armature 
losses, both copper and iron at 52.7 
kw., the square inches of total sur- 
face of the ventilating ring per watt 
radiated are therefore about 5.3 in 
the case of the slow-speed unit and 
only about 1.4 in the case of the 
turbine unit. 

The permissible temperature limit 
in the armatures is approximately the 
same. Nearly the same kinds of in- 
sulating material are used. Yet the 
temperature rise in spite of the re- 
duced available ventilating surface was 
approximately the same. The reason 
for this, of course, lies in the greater 
ventilating efficiency of the air-current 
of the turbine type. 

The rush of air through the venti- 
lating apertures that are obtained 
through the high-speed of the rotor 
compares with the ventilating current 
of the older machine as a hand-fan 
with an electric-fan. The difference 
in results, so far as concerns ventila- 
tion, will illustrate the enormous cool- 
ing capacity of the air blast and the 
superior efficiency of high-speed 
methods in cooling, as well as in the 
generation of energy. 

It has been well established by 
overload tests that the average tur- 
bine-generator could carry 25 to 50 
per cent, overload with no higher rise 
in operating temperatures than a well- 
designed slow-speed unit would give. 
If the full-load temperature rise was 
35 degrees, then 50 per cent, overload 
might be carried with 50 degrees rise. 

The ventilation bogie being laid, the 
"burden of proof" in the argument 
becomes shifted to the steam end, and 
here we think lies the real reason 
for the tendency to raise the normal 
rating. As is well known, the de- 
flection of the efficiency curves of the 
engine and turbine are very different 
on the overload portions of the scale. 
The engine curve turns "down" some- 
what about the full-rated load. The 
turbine curve turns "up." 

Therefore the economy of the 
turbine is greater with overload; that 
of the engine is le. c s. 

The water rates on a certain 5000- 
kw. turbine unit at full load and at 
50 per cent, overload are 17.2 and 16.8 
lbs. per kilowatt-hour, respectively, 
while on a 5000-kw. reciprocating unit 
operating under the same conditions 
of steam pressure and vacuum they 
are approximately 17.2 and 19 lbs. 

Therefore, in the course of a year 
if the turbo-generator is carried at a 
larger load than the factory rating, 
appreciable operating economy will re- 
sult. It is this inherent difference be- 
tween the engine and the turbine that 
demands a difference in the ratings 
on the generator end. The value of 
the overload margin is materially di- 
minished if the unit is able to carry 
an overload all the time. This con- 
sideration of the rating from an op- 
erating standpoint is the principal in- 
ducement for making the proposed 

The disadvantage of the higher rat- 
ing scheme lies in the fact the 
factor of safety in the insulation is 
decreased by approximately 15 de- 
grees, where the increase in the rating 
is 50 per cent. From the manufac- 
turer's standpoint, it was well to have 
these margins in connection with the 
guarantee under which the turbine is 
sold. Whether it was broader than 
necessary, time will tell. The per- 
formance of the great majority of 
turbine in use, in as far as regards 
burning out of insulation from over- 
heating is concerned, has been so ex- 
ceptionally good that it gives a fair 
reason for raising the allowable tem- 
perature limits. 

The modern turbine-alternator has a 
field insulation that, in addition to be- 
ing submitted to low-voltage strains 
only, is nearly absolutely fire-proof; 
and it is in the endurance of the arma- 
ture insulation of the machines that 
are rated up and so operated that we 
must look for the answer as to the 
wisdom of the proposed step. It it 
results successfully it will be another 
economy in operating expenses and 
another triumph to add to the long 
list already credited to the turbo-alter- 

The Triumph of ""Wireless" 

The supreme test of the value of 
wireless telegraphy that came in the 
dark hours of the early morning of 
January 23d, when the White Star 
Line's Republic was rammed by the 
Italian Lloyd's Florida, seemsto have 
at last brought home to the general 
public the real meaning of what 
"wireless" can and should do. Not 
only was the ship in touch with the 
shore within a few minutes after the 
accident, but it is actually claimed that 
had the Florida been equipped with 
a "wireless" outfit, the collision could 
not have occurred. The storage-bat- 
tery also came in for its share of 
credit. It was due to it that the wire- 
less plant was not put out of com- 
mission by the disabling of the electric 
plant which followed the impact of the 
Florida's nose into the vitals of the 

As was to be expected, recognition 
of the lesson taught has been instan- 
taneous and wide-spread. Already 
several bills have been introduced into 
various legislative bodies designed to 
make compulsory the equipment with 
the life-saving wireless of all vessels 
over a certain tonnage. It would ap- 
pear that self-interest or self-preserva- 
tion, which is said to be the first law of 
nature, would render such a bill super- 
fluous. Nevertheless, we hope no 
more chance will be taken in the mat- 



Commonwealth Edison Co., Chicago 

THE use of the substation in a dis- 
tributing system makes possible 
economies of investment and op- 
eration which cannot be realized with- 
out it, but it introduces a link between 
the generator and the consumer which 
adds to the complication of the system 
and its presence in a distributing sys- 
tem must therefore be amply justified 
by economic considerations. 

The design of a substation building 
and equipment must be made with a 
view to economy of operation, facility 
of repair and construction work, se- 
curity of the service and employees, 
and a minimum first cost consistent 
with these conditions, and with the 
importance of the service. Where 
growth is probable, due regard must 
be had for extensions of building or 
equipment, or both. The character of 
the building and equipment is fixed 
by the kind of service to be given, 
whether alternating or direct current, 
at ^ high or low tension. 

The economy of operation should be 
as high as possible as the added ex- 
pense of maintaining an attendant 
must be offset by the superior effi- 
ciency of the substation system as 
compared with feeders direct from a 
generating station. 

The arrangement of apparatus with 
regard to the work of construction and 
repair men will often save much in 
first cost and operation, not to mention 
the lives of the men. Proper provi- 
sion for repairs will also shorten the 
time of a shut-down very materially, 
thus saving loss of income and in- 
jured reputation for reliability. No 
design is permissible which involves 
unusual risk of interruption to the 

The first cost must be kept within 
proper limits since fixed charges on 
the investment form a considerable 
part of the cost of electricity supply 
and must be as low as possible. 

Alternating-current substations are 
mostly of two kinds, viz., static trans- 
former and frequency changing mo- 

Direct-current substations include 
synchronous converters, motor-gener- 
ators, or storage batteries or combina- 
tions of these. In a few cases direct 
current has been distributed from a 
substation receiving its energy over a 
heavy low-tension trunk line from a 
direct-current generating station lo- 

cated on a river front or other favor- 
able location. A battery auxiliary is 
usually employed where such an ar- 
rangement exists. 

In alternating-current distribution 
transformer substations are used 
where the frequency of the distribut- 
ing system is the same as that of the 
transmission lines, but voltage trans- 
formation is necessary. Such a sub- 
tation consists essentially of incoming 
transmission lines, line or transformer 
switches, transformers, distributing 
switchboard, with feeder regulators, 
switches, instruments, etc., and out- 
going feeders. In its simplest form 
it may embody but a single trans- 
former and switches without instru- 
ments or other accessories, except per- 
haps lightning arresters, the pressure 
regulation being effected at the gener- 
ating end of the line by the use of line 
drop compensators. Such an outfit 
does not necessarily require a building 
and may be used to supply a remote 
residence section where no large 
power service is required very satis- 
factorily up to 150 or 200 kw. Where 
the load is larger there is likely to be 
a demand for three-phase power, in 
which case three transformers may be 
supplied by a four-wire feeder, in a 
very inexpensive building without 
other accessories than disconnecting 
switches on each side of the trans- 
formers and lightning arresters. The 
four-wire transmission line may be 
regulated by regulators on each phase, 
at the generating end, and the distrib- 
uting feeders carried to several ad- 
jacent suburbs. This system has been 
used for outlying suburbs in Chicago 
at 4400 — 7600 volts for loads up to 
600 kw., power and lighting being 
served with the same degree of facil- 
ity that is possible with similar busi- 
ness located within the range of the 
distributing feeders operating direct 
from the point of supply. 

When the number of feeders from 
a substation is such that regulation 
must be secured at the substation, it 
is necessary to equip the feeders with 
potential regulators and maintain an 
operator on duty during the hours of 
heavy load. If there is much day 
power load an operator should be on 
duty about 16 hours a day as a rule. 
The addition of regulating equipment 
and an operator necessitates a higher 
grade of building, and this is usually 
warranted by the importance of the 

service at this stage of development. 

The usual distributing voltage in al- 
ternating current systems being about 
2300, a discussion of the elements en- 
tering into the composition of a trans- 
former substation distributing at this 
pressure will serve to illustrate the 
principles of such a design. 

A substation supplied by two trans- 
mission lines at 13,000 volts is to dis- 
tribute energy by four outgoing three- 
phase four-wire 2300-4000-volt feed- 
ers through six single-phase step- 
down transformers of 400 kw. each. 
Local conditions, such as the available 
floor space, usually forbid an ideal lay- 
out, but as no two locations are alike, 
the arrangement of apparatus will be 
discussed from the standpoint of 
ample space being available for any 
desired arrangement. 

The most desirable layout is one in 
which the progress of the flow of 
energy is continuous from incoming 
lines to outgoing feeders, and the con- 
nections and arrangement of appa- 
ratus should be made with this in 
view. Such an arrangement is illus- 
trated diagramatically in Fig. 1 and in 
plan and elevation in Figs. 2 and 3. 

The arrangement of Fig. 1 pro- 
vides a switch for each incoming line 
and a tie switch between them, so that 
the lines may be used interchangeably, 
to supply one or both sets of trans- 
formers. Each transformer is pro- 
vided with a switch on each side so 
that it can be disconnected for repairs 
or cleaning, and to enable it to be 
easily isolated in case of trouble in the 
transformer. The transformers feed 
into a common 2300-4000 volt bus, 
from which all feeders are supplied. 
An auxiliary bus should also be pro- 
vided to facilitate construction or re- 
pair work around the board, and per- 
haps to permit the load of certain 
feeders to be carried on a separate 
line at higher pressure, or from a dif- 
ferent source of power, over one of 
the lines. The use of an auxiliary bus 
requires double-throw switches 
throughout on the distributing bus 
and adds to the first cost of the sta- 
tion. It may therefore be omitted in 
small substations where there is a 
single incoming line and little justifi- 
cation for its installation. 

The outgoing feeders leave the bus 
through single-pole switches and pass 
through the regulators for the control 
of the pressure. 




February, 1909 

The arrangement of the apparatus 
might be carried out as in the floor 
plan of Fig. 2. 

The line and high tension trans- 
former switches occupy space next to 
the wall with an aisle between them 
and the transformers of such width as 
to permit ready access for inspection, 
repairs or the replacement of a trans- 
former. The 2300-volt switches are 
of the hand-operated type, and are 
mounted on the switchboard with the 
instruments. The 2300 volt buses are 
at the rear of the board with an aisle 
between them and the regulators, so 
that they may be accessible. The 
regulators are motor-operated and are 
placed near the wall in the path of 
the outgoing feeders. The control 
switches for the regulator motors are 
on the switchboard close to the volt- 
meter so that the operator may control 
the pressure while watching the volt- 
meter. Less expensive hand-con- 
trolled regulators may be installed, 
but these require the operator to go to 
the regulator each time regulation is 
necessary. This, of course, takes him 
away from the voltmeter while he is 
doing so, and does not permit of first- 
class operation. In small substations 
the hand operated regulators may 
sometimes be arranged with the con- 
trolling handles extended through to 
the front of the board, thus enabling 
the operator to watch the meters while 
regulating. With hand-operated regu- 
lators the space required by the regu- 
lators of a feeder being more than the 
width of a panel, the use of two rows 
of regulators with a staggered ar- 
rangement may be necessary. The 
connecting rods running to the front 
of the board obstruct the space at the 
rear of the board and are objection- 
able in a substation of the size of the 
one under discussion. 

The elevation in Fig. 3 shows the 
disposition of the apparatus and cables 
looking endwise. The high-tension 
incoming lines enter the building 
through a duct line and pass to the 
compartment switches, transformer 
switches and transformers through 
cable connections protected at their 
terminals by insulating bells. The 
outgoing lines are handled in a similar 
way. The cables carried across the 
ceiling of the basement are mounted 
on suitable insulating supports, cov- 
ered with varnished cambric insula- 
tion, and in case there is moisture 
present continuously they are lead 
sheathed. The expense of the base- 
ment excavation may be saved in case 
there is no special use for the space 
other than making the connections be- 
tween the apparatus. In this case 
lead-covered cables may be laid in 
shallow trenches in the floor, with 
split tile protection, and the compart- 
ment switch is raised above the floor 

to permit connection to be made from 
the trench below. 

The arrangement suggested in Figs. 
1, 2 and 3 is of course an ideal one, 
since no limitation of space or other 
local conditions are imposed. In many 
cases the required floor space is not 
available or is too valuable for other 
purposes to justify its use for sub- 
station purposes. Under such circum- 
stances floor space may be econo- 
mized by placing the pressure regu- 
lators on a gallery above the switch- 
board, or in the basement. The latter 

ratus to the same scale. The different 
arrangements may thus be laid down 
without the tedious work of making 
several drawings at considerable ex- 
pense. Each proposed arrangement 
must be considered with reference to 
the disposition of the apparatus and 
connections in the basement as well as 
on the main floor. A design is not 
justifiable which makes a nice appear- 
ing installation of the main floor, but 
necessitates dangerous conditions else- 
where in the building. 

The switches on the incoming line 


Oil Szvitches 

Bus Bars 
Oil Szvitches 


Oil Szvitches 

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□□□□□□ □□□ 

Main Oil Szvitcli 

Tie Switch 






arrangement brings them in line with 
the outgoing feeders and is preferable 
if the basement is of suitable depth 
and size to give room to handle and 
install the apparatus. With a room 
which is not long enough to permit 
the transformers to be set in a row, it 
may be necessary to try various group- 
ings of the oil rwitches and trans- 
formers, until the best arrangement is 
found. This is conveniently done by 
laying out the space to a suitable scale 
and cutting out pieces of paper to 
represent the various pieces of appa- 

must be capable of opening the entire 
load under emergency conditions and 
should therefore be of the oil break 
type with separate fireproof compart- 
ments for each nole. These switches 
must be equipped for protection by 
reverse current relays, if the incom- 
ing lines are operated in parallel, 
which necessitates a set of current 
transformers on each line. Suitable 
space must be provided for these near 
the switch as well as for the relays. 

The switches must be operated by 
alternating current with auxiliary 

February, 1909 



hand control in the absence of any 
source of direct current for this pur- 
pose. The switches controlling the 
transformers may be of a smaller type 
of oil switch, the transformers being 
arranged so that they can be discon- 
nected separately on both sides. The 
type of switch is that in which the 

Four-wire three-phase feeders The layout of Fig. 3 is based on the 
should not be controlled by three-pole use of oil-cooled and insulated trans- 
switches as the neutral wire makes formers, this type being best suited to 
each phase virtually a separate feeder the conditions where space is not a 
for all lighting or single-phase load consideration and where continuous 

and it is undesirable to interrupt the 
service on other phases because of 
trouble on any one. 

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Line Switches 



switch members are enclosed in oil Two-phase feeders should be con- 

in a tank, there being a double-break trolled by separate switches on each 
single-pole switch for each unit. The phase for the same reason. 

switches on the line side should be 
protected by overload relays, while 
those on the 2300-volt bus should be 
protected by reverse current relays to 
guard against the failure of a trans- 
former coil. 

These switches may be of the type 
which is closed against a spring by 
hand and opens automatically when 
tripped by the relay. The relays for 
primary and secondary of the trans- 
formers may conveniently be located 
on the switchboard panel which carries 
the secondary switch. The current 
transformers may be disposed in con- 
venient and safe places where they are 
convenient to the leads of the main 
transformers. • 

The switches on the outgoing four- 
wire feeders should be single-pole and 
preferably equipped with the spring- 
actuated type of circuit breaker. Fuse 
protection is sometimes used on 2300- 
volt feeders, but it is not as satisfac- 
tory as circuit breakers, because of the 
longer time required to restore the 
service when a fuse blows, the greater 
likelihood of fuses blowing unneces- 
sarily under heavy loads, and the diffi- 
culty of designing a fuse block which 
will not be injured by the operation of 
the fuse within a comparatively short 

In the three-phase three-wire sys- 
tem where the load is delta connected, 
the opening of either phase interrupts 
the service on two phases, and the use 
of three pole switches is not so ob- 

Outgoing feeder switches should 






77777 , 1777 



attendance is not necessary. 

Where floor space is a governing 
factor, the air-cooled type has decided 
advantages, as it is commonly de- 
signed to occupy a rectangular floor 
space which permits a very compact 
arrangement as compared with an 
equal capacity in oil or water-cooled 
transformers. The more rapid dissi- 
pation of heat in the air-cooled type 
allows a less expensive design. The 
presence of the blower, however, 
makes necessary some provision for 
space for its installation, and for the 
air ducts from blower to transformer. 
The usual arrangement is one in which 
air pressure is maintained in a cham- 
ber in a basement below the trans- 
formers, the heated air being dis- 
charged through openings in the case 
of the transformers into the substa- 

With a four-wire three-phase sys- 
tem the transformers should be single- 
phase units, as the load may be un- 
balanced at times and the occurrence 
of trouble on one phase need not inter- 
fere with the operation of the other 

With a three-wire three-phase sys- 
tem so arranged that an entire feeder 
goes out in case of trouble, the likeli- 
hood of a considerable unbalance is 
small and the advantages of the three- 
phase transformer may be secured. 
This sometimes requires the use of an 
air blast, but makes a great saving in 
floor space. 

With oil-cooled units of about 500 
kw. and upward, it is often considered 
advisable to provide drains to a sewer 

Oil Switch 




Oil Switch 









have a maximum capacity for 150 
amperes on the four-wire two-phase 
or three-phase system and 200 am- 
peres on three-wire two-phase or 
three-phase system in order to permit 
an economical feeder load to be car- 

for the transformer oil, so that in case 
it should become ignited it could be 
drained off to assist in extinguishing 
the fire. 

With very high voltage transmis- 
sion systems it is usual to install the 
transformers in separate compart- 



February, 1909 

ments to guard against the spread of 
an arc or flames from burning oil to 
adjacent transformers. With units of 
2000 kw. and larger this expense is 
often justified, in view of the import- 
ance of the service and the investment 

The selection of the size and num- 
ber of units for a substation is a mat- 
ter of great importance from both 
operating and investment standpoints. 

The units should be large enough to 
give some reserve capacity, and nu- 
merous enough to leave a working 
capacity in case a unit fails. 

In the three-phase station used here 
for illustration, the use of two units 
on each phase results in a reduction 
of 50 per cent, in capacity on one 
phase if a unit fails. If the units have 
a reserve capacity of 20 per cent., the 
load can still be carried by running 
one unit at about 50 per cent, overload 
until a spare unit is put in place of the 
defective one. Where the service is 
important a spare unit should be avail- 
able at all time for emergencies. In a 
system with several substations, two 
or three sizes may be standardized, one 
of each being carried as reserve. The 
switchboard should be located in a 
position where the instruments may be 
readily observed by the operator, and 
at a sufficient distance from the wall 
to give reasonably good access for 
construction and repair work._ It car- 
ries no high-tension connections ex- 
cept where the feeder switches are of 
the hand-operated type, in which case 
they are preferably mounted on the 
panel with the instruments. Where 
remote control switches are employed 
the switchboard carries only second- 
ary low-pressure wiring, such as in- 
strument connections, remote control 
circuits, compensator circuits and the 
like. Such a board may be located in 
any convenient part of the roorn where 
it is accessible to the operator, if con- 
siderations of space demand it. The 
operation of remote control switches 
should be indicated to the operator by 
pilot lamps of red and green on the 
operating board. 

Each feeder should carry an am- 
meter as a means of indication of the 
load carried and a voltmeter in con- 
nection with a line drop compensator 
to indicate the feeder end pressure to 
the operator. A power factor indi- 
cator is a desirable accessory on the 
main bus. 

The transformer panels must also be 
provided with ammeters and a bus 
voltmeter for each bus and phase. 
The remote control wiring for the 
primary switch of the transformer is 
also brought to the transformer panels. 

The design of the switchboard must 
be carried out with a view to making 
as compact an arrangement of switch- 
ing apparatus as is consistent with 

safety of installation and operation. 
The arrangement of the wiring for 
instruments, relays and similar appa- 
ratus should be carefully made with a 
view to making it secure from failure, 
accessible for testing and repair work 
and neat in appearance. Where sev- 
eral wires are grouped on one or two 
panels, the use of terminal boards for 
testing and repair purposes is very de- 
sirable. These should be placed so 
that an instrument adjuster can get at 
them conveniently without disturbing 
the connections at the instrument ter- 

the generating equipment supplies 25 
cycle electricity and the frequency of 
distribution is 60 cycles. There are 
other cases, however, where the trans- 
formation is made from 30 or 40 to 60' 
or 62 cycles. 

The best form of frequency chang- 
ing apparatus consists of a synchron- 
ous motor wound for the transmission 
voltage, direct connected to a 60-cycle 
generator wound for the distributing 
voltage. Where the transmission volt- 
age is above 13,000, it is not practical 
to construct motors wound for the 
transmission voltage, and transform- 

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Starting Bus- 


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The switchboard should be of fire- 
proof materials, marble and slate on 
angle iron frames, being the most 
commonly used construction. The 
arrangement of switches and bus con- 
nections should be such as to minimize 
the danger of the spread of an arc. 
The location should permit of neces- 
sary extensions which may be required 
in connection with the addition of 
feeders from year to year. 

Frequency changing substations 
must be resorted to where the source 
of energy is operated at a different 
frequency from that of distribution. 
This condition is usually one where 

ers are necessary. Greater stability 
and better efficiency may be secured 
by the use of induction motors, though 
this is offset in part by the lower 
power factor inherent to the induction 

The motor-generator outfit requires 
about the same floor space as an equal 
capacity in single-phase transformers 
when the two machines are mounted 
on a common bed plate with a short 
shaft and two bearings. When de- 
signed in the vertical form there is 
some saving in floor space in the larger 

The essential difference between the 

February, 1909 



frequency changing substation and a 
transformer substation is in the pres- 
ence of motor-generators. The incom- 
ing lines with their high tension 
switching equipment and outgoing 
feeders with their switchboard and 
regulators are practically identical un- 
der equivalent conditions of load and 
space available in the two kinds of 

Where the transmission is at a 
pressure too high for the motor wind- 
ings direct, the motor-generators re- 
quire transformers and this increases 
the required floor space of the sub- 
station very materially. 

With a substation of 2500-kw. 
capacity with synchronous motor gen- 
erators taking energy at the line volt- 
age, the units should consist of two 
1000 kw. and one 500 kw. and the ar- 
rangement might be made similar to 
that shown in Fig. 4. 

It will be noted that this substation 
includes exciters for the fields of the 
motor generators and a high-tension 
starting bus fed by a reactance coil, 
for use in bringing the synchronous 
motors up to speed, at reduced pres- 
sure. A single reactive coil is pro- 
vided together with double-throw 
switches on the motors so that any 
motor can be thrown to the starting 
bus and started from the one starting 
coil, the extra cost of the bus and 
double-throw switches being less than 
that of the extra reactive coils. Dupli- 
cate exciters driven by separate motors 
at the transmission frequency should 
be provided as they must be started at 
times when the station is shut do'wn, 
and reserve capacity must be available 
in case repairs become necessary on 
either unit. In some cases it may be 
sufficient to have two exciter units 
separately driven, with others driven 
by the main units. In the 2000-kw. 
vertical units in use in Chicago, the 
exciter is mounted on the shaft and is 
used interchangeably as a motor to 
start the unit from rest and then as a 
generator to excite its field poles: The 
supply of direct current for starting is 
drawn from the separately driven ex- 
citers. This reduces the shock on the 
transmission system experienced with 
starting from a coil, and results in a 
material saving in floor space which 
would otherwise be occupied by the 
exciter set. 

Where the presence of direct cur- 
rent is taken advantage of for auto- 
mobile charging, traveling crane or 
hoist service, it is important that the 
direct-current bus be divided so that 
the fluctuations of load will not affect 
the generator fields and so produce 
pressure variations throughout the 
entire system. Where a Tirrill regu- 
lator is used it is also desirable to have 
its operation control the pressure on 
the 60-cycle generators only, which 

necessitates the use of two direct-cur- 
rent buses. 

It is also usually desirable in a sub- 
station having a number of feeders to 
provide two 60-cycle buses, so that 
certain longer feeders can be operated 
at higher pressure, and to permit the 
segregation of variable power load on 
separate machines where they do not 
affect the regulation of lighting pres- 
sure. It is desirable also as a means 
of facilitating repairs, as either bus 
can be cut off for repairs or construc- 
tion work without interfering with the 
continuity of service. 

The exciter units being less than 
100 kw., it is usually not practicable 
to use motors wound for the line volt- 
age. This requires a set of transform- 
ers but permits the use of compara- 
tively low voltage induction motors 
which are less sensitive to shocks on 
the transmission system and permit 
the entire control of the exciter to be 
placed on a low voltage board. 

and motor generators of different 
capacities are shown in Table 5. 

Where motor-generator sets are em- 
ployed, a selection must be made be- 
tween induction and synchronous mo- 
tors. The stability of the induction 
motor is balanced against the superior 
power factor of the synchronous mo- 
tor, and (if the voltage of the trans- 
mission system will permit) the sav- 
ing of transformers. 

The presence of a considerable 
amount of distributed alternating-cur- 
rent load on other parts of a 60-cycle 
transmission system usually involves 
low power factors at the generating 
station. These may be largely com- 
pensated for by the use of synchron- 
ous motors in the direct-current sub- 
stations, thus improving the generat- 
ing conditions and increasing capacity 
to some extent. 

The high-tension equipment of a 
direct current synchronous motor gen- 
erator substation is very similar to that 



25 Cycles 

60 Cycles 

Per cent. 

Syn. Mot- 

Ind. Mot- 

Syn. Con- 

Syn. Mot- 

Ind. Mot- 

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Direct-current substations may be 
equipped with motor generators, syn- 
chronous converters, or both. 

With 25 cycles and other low fre- 
quencies, the performance of the con- 
verter not being hampered by any 
special difficulties, it is quite generally 
employed. With 60 cycles and other 
similar frequencies, the operation of 
converters is attended by some diffi- 
culties, such as "hunting" and flashing 
over, which, though remediable in 
many cases, have limited the use of 
converters at these frequencies. Syn- 
chronous and induction-motor gener- 
ator sets have commonly been em- 
ployed instead. The comparative effi- 
ciencies, size and cost of converters 

above for an alternating-current sub- 
station. It is not necessary, however, 
in substations having several units to 
have facilities for starting from the 
alternating-current side on each unit. 
Direct-current starting methods are 
easier to manipulate, less expensive to 
install and make a smaller draft upon 
the system than alternating-current 
starting methods. The use of a double 
high-tension bus can be limited to one 
or two units. 

The excitation system is, of course, 
provided for from the direct-current 
system without separately driven ex- 
citers, thus reducing the complication 
of equipment. 

The direct-current distributing 



February, 1909 

equipment being operated at low po- 
tential is radically different from the 
2300-volt alternating-current equip- 
ment above described. The bus bars 
may be of bare copper about half an 
inch thick and from three to six inches 
wide, and built up with air spaces be- 
tween for radiation, to the required 
number, to carry the current. These 
are mounted at the back of the switch- 
board so that the connections to the 
generator and feeder switches may be 
as short as possible. The chief con- 
sideration in the design of such boards 
is an arrangement using a minimum 
length of copper, as it is necessarily 
of heavy cross section. The board 
should therefore be as short as pos- 
sible and the opposite polarities should 
not be so close as to endanger the 
service in case a short circuit is made. 
The arrangement shown in Fig. 6 
accomplishes these objects very effect- 
ively. The upper row of switches are 
all of one polarity and the lower of 
another. The neutral conductor need 
not be switched and is connected direct 
to the neutral bus. The separation is 
ample and the length of bus-bar cop- 
per per feeder is about six inches for 
each pole of the bus. 

This close spacing necessitates the 
use of the edgewise type of ammeter, 
an instrument being placed on each 
side of the three-wire feeder. The 
location of the polarities is usually 
standardized for the sake of uni- 
formity. That is, the positive bus may 
be placed above or at the right, and 
the negative below or at the left, or 
vice versa. Separate voltmeters are 
not necessary for each feeder in direct- 
current networks, but the pressure 
wires brought from the feeder ends 
are terminated in a multiple point 
switch so arranged that the pressure 
on any feeder may be read on a single 
voltmeter successively. The bus pres- 
sure is usually indicated by a separate 
voltmeter, as this pressure should be 
visible to the operator at all times. 

The individual regulation of feeder 
pressure is not feasible in direct-cur- 
rent systems, except for very long 
feeders which may be equipped with 
a booster set, or with very short feed- 
ers_ which may have a resistance in 
series to absorb part of the pressure. 

Booster sets for use on three-wire 
feeders commonly consist of two gen- 
erators of sufficient ampere capacitv to 
carry the full load of the feeder, and 
voltage range sufficient to make up 
for the feeder loss, usually at least 40 
to 50 volts. These are driven prefer- 
ably by direct connection to a 230-volt 
motor of proper capacity. The booster 
generator fields must be designed to 
operate throughout the full range of 
pressure, without trouble at the 
brushes, and must have independent 
■field rheostat control in order to permit 

compensation for drop on the neutral 
in case of unbalanced load. The loca- 
tion of a boo'ster set should be such 
that the feeder cables will not require 
to be ■ carried farther from their run 
than is necessary. 

Feeder resistances are to be avoided 
as far as possible. Where necessary 
they must be of a design which will 
carry the feeder current and dissipate 
the heat generated without excessive 
temperature rise. Wire coils have 
been used for smaller feeders, but for 
those carrying 500 amperes and up- 
ward, strips of heavy galvanized sheet 
iron mounted on suitable insulating 
supports and surrounded with a wire 
netting for protection have given good 
results. There should be several sec- 
tions of the resistance to permit the 
operator to make the necessary ad- 
justment of pressure as the load and 
bus pressure vary at different hours. 


Cable \ r 


111111 )111 



Rotary converter stations are sim- 
ilar to motor-generator stations as re- 
gards the direct-current equipment. 
The converter requires transformers 
and sometimes an air-blast equipment. 
The high tension switching equipment 
is very similar to that of other sub- 
stations of equal size and importance. 
The starting of converter is accom- 
plished preferably by the use of direct 
current, through a starting rheostat in 
series with the armature. This is usu- 
ally arranged so that the rheostat is 
connected between the main bus and a 
starting bus. Each converter panel is 
provided with a starting bus switch 
through which any converter may be 
thrown to the starting bus and put into 
service by the use of one starting 

Facilities should also be provided 
for starting some of the machines 
from the alternating-current side, as 
this may be necessary in case of a gen- 
eral interruption of service in which 
the direct-current supply is removed. 
The arrangement of the apparatus 
varies with the character of the trans- 

formers and the means of pressure 

With air-blast transformers an air 
chamber must be provided and the 
necessary blower equipment to pro- 
duce a few ounces of pressure. If 
potential regulators are used on the 
converter these are mounted between 
the transformer and the machine so as 
to minimize the length of heavy leads. 
The regulator is connected without 
switches in many cases as there is little 
occasion to open these connections in 
operation. The regulators are usu- 
ally remote controlled by means of a 
small motor with worm and wheel 
connection to the regulator. In recent 
practice the use of regulators has been 
obviated by the use of split-pole con- 
verters or booster converters for pres- 
sure control. 

The split-pole converter permits 
regulation to be accomplished without 
loss of control of the power factor, by 
manipulation of the field strength. 
The different sections of the field poles 
are connected up separately to permit 

The booster converter is a machine 
with a booster on the same shaft, so 
arranged that the pressure of the 
booster may be added to that of the 
converter or subtracted from it. The 
booster frame is cast with or bolted to 
that of the converter, so that no ex- 
ternal wiring or bus work is needed. 
Little more floor space is required 
than for a standard converter, while 
the space occupied by a regulator is 
saved. This form of machine is 
somewhat more complex than the split 
pole converter but possesses some ad- 
vantages which tend to offset this. 

In connection with direct-current 
substations, it sometimes is desirable 
to maintain a storage battery reserve 
for emergency purposes and for use 
during the time of maximum load. 

The most essential features of a 
battery station are ample space and 
proper ventilation. 

The cells of the battery are set side 
by side so that the plates of neighbor- 
ing cells can be joined together by a 
lead bar without the use of copper bus 
bar work. The floor space required by 
a battery is much more than that 
which is needed for converting appar- 
atus of an equal capacity. It is some- 
times necessary on this account to put 
part of a battery on another floor. 
The design of the building must, of 
course, be such as to support the 
weight, which is very great. 

The use of sulphuric acid as an 
electrolyte, and the evolution of hydro- 
gen, from the battery, tend to keep the 
air in a battery room heavily laden 
with sulphuric acid vapor. This acid 
corrodes all the common metals except 
lead and manv organic substances. It 
is therefore necessary to protect all 

February, 1909 



structural steel work with building tile 
and plaster and to keep all copper bus 
work well painted. As a further 
means of reducing the severity of the 
action ample ventilation may be pro- 
vided. Where natural ventilation can- 
not be secured fans must be provided 
discharging through a stock. During 
the summer months open windows 
may be relied upon where batteries are 
sufficiently remote from adjoining 
buildings to avoid interference with 
the rights of others. The floor of the 
battery room must be arranged to 
drain off any leakage of the electro- 
lyte. The use of cement floors is not 
permissible on account of the action 
of the acid. It is therefore usual to 
lay a floor consisting of a layer of 
paper well coated with a roofing com- 
pound and over this a floor of vitrified 
tile brick with the spaces between the 
bricks carefully filled with compound. 
Such a floor will not permit the leak- 
age of any electrolyte to lower floors, 
and is not affected materially by the 

The operation of the battery being 
affected by the specific gravity of the 
electrolyte, it is necessary to have a 
supply of pure water for the purpose 
of diluting the acid at intervals. The 
provision of facilities for the storage 
or manufacture of distilled water is 
therefore necessary. 

The end cell connections are prefer- 
ably terminated on an end cell switch 

built into one wall of the battery room. 
This keeps the strong acid fumes away 
from the end cell switch and .other 
substation apparatus. The end cell 

devices are provided to keep the oper- 
ator informed as to its position. 

The battery switchboard must be 
provided with two buses, to provide 


switch is often so far from the oper- 
ator that it is necessary to provide re- 
mote control apparatus for its oper- 
ation. The end cell switch is com- 

for discharge at two different bus 
pressures, in most cases. Edgewise 
type ammeters with zero point near 
the middle of the scale so that they 


monly motor operated and indicating can be used for charging and dis- 
charging are found most suitable in 
the main battery leads. The switch- 
board should carry a voltmeter to in- 
dicate the bus pressure of the battery, 
and another with a low scale to give 
the pressure on the individual end 

Where rotary converters or motor- 
generators are available, it is prefer- 
able to have a machine wound to give 
a wider range of pressure for use in 
charging. This avoids the complica- 
tion of booster sets, and is less ex- 
pensive in first cost and operation. 

In some cases, where space is diffi- 
cult to get, it has been necessary to 
locate batteries in another building 
several hundred feet distant, extend- 
ing the battery bus to the converter 
station bus through underground 
cables in the street. Such an arrange- 
ment is necessarily expensive and is 
only justified where the service is very 
important, as in a congested mercan- 
tile district. 

The weight of a storage battery is 
such that it is usually impossible to 
place anywhere above the ground in a 
building not specially designed to 
carry it. This makes it usually im- 
possible to put batteries and con- 
verters in the same building where all 
must rest on the ground. 

A battery board with end-cell switch 
control is shown in Fig. 8. 

Computing Boiler Power 


THE following simple methods 
for calculating the size of boilers 
for heating, lighting and power 
purposes will be found convenient for 
quickly approximating the require- 
ments in special cases where it is de- 
sired to obtain results quickly without 
the use of elaborate computations. 

Calculations for power boilers are 
based on the steam consumption of 
the type of engines used, and vary 
even with the same type of engine, 
depending upon the size, speed, pres- 
sure and point of cut-off. 

The following table may be used 
for estimating the steam consumption 
of different types of engines of first- 
class make and medium size. The 
last item, however, is for compound 
engines of larger sizes such as are met 
with in central station work : 

Type of Engine 

Pounds of Steam per in- 
dicated H.P. per hour 



Simple high speed 

Simple medium speed 

Simple Corliss 

30 to 34 
28 to 32 
26 to 30 
24 to 28 
23 to 27 
22 to 26 

20 to 24 

22 to 26 
21 to 25 
20 to 24 

Compound high speed 
Compound medium speed. 

Compound Corliss 

Compound Corliss of over 
500 horse power 

18 to 22 
17 to 21 
16 to 20 

14 to 18 


After having estimated the weight 
of steam per hour for the type of en- 
gine to be supplied, it should be re- 
duced to an equivalent evaporation 
from and at 212 degrees, and this re- 
sult divided by 34.5 will give the re- 
quired horse power of the boilers. 

This change from the actual condi- 
tions of steam pressure and feed- 
water temperature to an "equivalent 
evaporation" is necessary because the 
latent heat of evaporation varies with 
the pressure, and the heat in the liquid 
varies both with the pressure and with 
the temperature of the feed water. 

These facts make it necessary, when 
computing the power of a boiler or 
when comparing the efficiency of boil- 
ers working under different condi- 
tions, to reduce the results to a com- 
mon standard. Table II is to be used 
in reducing actual results to this 
standard as illustrated in the follow- 
ing example : 

Exampl e. — What boiler horse 
power will be required to supply steam 
at 140 lb. gauge pressure from feed 
water at 50 degrees temperature for a 
compound condensing medium-speed 
engine of 300 l.h.p. ? 


Taking the higher water rate from 
Table I for this type of engine, we 
have 21 x 300 = 6300 lb. of steam per 
hour. Looking in column one of 
Table II for a temperature of 50 de- 
grees and following to the right un- 
til a steam pressure of 140 is reached 

ergy to be supplied at the lamp ter- 

Horse power delivered to dynamo 
=86-^.90 (efficiency of dynamo) =96. 

Indicated horse power of engine 
=96-7-. 88 (efficiency of engine) = 

Temperature of 

Steam Pressure by Gauge. 

Feed Water. 
























1 .20 









we find the number 1,21, which is 
called the "factor of evaporation" for 
these conditions, 6300 x 1.21 = 7623, 
which is the equivalent evaporation 
from and at 212 degrees, and 7623 -=- 
34.5 = 221, the boiler horse power 

In the case of electric lighting the 
size or capacity of the dynamo is first 
obtained, and from that the indicated 
horse power of the engine, and then 
the boiler power as already described. 
There are different ways of doing this, 
depending upon the data at hand. 

If the efficiency and candle power 
of the lamps are known, the total 
number of watts may be computed, 
from which the capacity of dynamo 
and power of engine are easily de- 

Example. — A building is to have 
700 incandescent lights requiring 50 
watts each ; .200 Meridian lamps re- 
quiring 60 watts each ; 20 multiple arc 
lamps at four amperes each, and 10 
at 7.5 amperes each. The system is 
to be supplied with a current of no 
volts. What will be the capacity of 
dynamo, horse power of engine and 
boiler horse power required? Assume 
efficiencies of 90 per cent, and 88 per 
cent, for dynamo and engine re- 
spectively, and neglect losses in the 

From the data given, we have 

700x50 = 35000 watts for incandescent lamps. 

200x60 = 12000 " " Meridian 

20x 4x110 = 8800 " " small arc 
10x7.5x110= 8250 " " large arc 

Knowing the indicated horse power 
of the engine and the approximate 
water rate of the type to be used, the 
boiler horse power can be computed 
by the method already described. 

Another way is to find the total 
current in amperes required by all of 
the lamps, then knowing the voltage 
at which they are to operate, the num- 
ber of watts can be determined at 

Example. — What will be the re- 
quired capacity of dynamo and power 
of engine to supply the current for a 
no-volt parallel system, carrying 500 
incandescent lamps at .6 amperes 
each; 100 similar lamps at 1.2 am- 
peres each ; 20 Cooper-Hewitt lamps 
at 3.0 amperes each, and 50 arc lamps 
at 5.0 amperes each? 

500 x0.6 = 300 

100 x 1.2 = 120 

20x3.0 = 60 
50 x 5.0 = 250 

Total 730 amperes. 

730X110=80,300 watts, or 80.3 
kw. 80,300-7-746=108 h.p. to be de- 
livered by the dynamo in the form of 
electrical energy, from which the in- 
dicated horse power of engine, and 
boiler power, can be computed as be- 

Another method of getting the 
boiler power for electric lighting is 
by the use of Table III, in which it 
is assumed that one horse power of 
electrical energy will supply a certain 
number of lamps of different types as 
there given : 

Total.. 64050 

64,050-7-1000=64 kw., the required 
capacity of the dynamo. 

Electrical energy in watts may be 
changed to horse power by dividing 
by 746, hence, 64,050-7-746=86 horse 
power in the form of electrical en- 

Number of lamps sup- 
plied by one horse 



Type and power of lamp. 

16-c. p. incandescent. 
32-c. p. incandescent. 
1200-c. p. arc. 
2000-c. p. arc. 


February, 1909 



The efficiency of a first-class gen- 
erating 1 set (engine and dynamo), in- 
cluding the losses in transmission, 
may be taken as about y$ per cent, 
when located near or in the building 
to be lighted, so that the electric horse 
power necessary to supply the lamps 
divided by .75 will give the indicated 
horse power of the engine required. 

E x a m p l e. — What boiler horse 
power will be required to furnish 
steam for a lighting plant carrying 
2400 16-c-p. and 600 32-c-p. incan- 
descent lamps, and 100 1200-c-p. arc 

2400 h- 12 =200 
600 h- 6 = 100 
100 + 2.4 = 40 

Total 340 

This is the horse power of electrical 
energy to be delivered by the rynamos. 
The indicated horse power of the en- 
gines is 340-r-. 75=453, from which 
the boiler horse power may be deter- 
mined as before. 

The steam required for operating a 
"pump is found in a similar manner 
as for an engine, although they are 
rated in gallons of water delivered 
tinder given conditions, instead of 
horse power. 

The weight of water in pounds per 
minute, multiplied by the height in 
feet to which it is raised, divided by 
33,000, will give the useful or de- 
livered work in horse power. The 
friction of the moving parts of a pump 
and of the water flowing through the 
passages and valves is so great that 
under ordinary working conditions not 
much more than 50 per cent, of the 
indicated horse power of the steam 
cylinders is utilized in doing useful 
work. This, together with the fact 
that steam is not used expansively, 
calls for a large amount of steam in 
proportion to the work done, as shown 
by Table IV, which gives the average 
steam consumption of the ordinary 
duplex pump : 

Type of Pump 

Pounds of steam per 
delivered horse power 
per hour. 

Simple non-condensing 

Compound non-condensing.. 

Triple non-condensing 

High duty non-condensing. 



In measuring the head against 
which a pump is working, take the 
vertical distance between the surface 
of the water in the suction reservoir 
and the highest point in the discharge 
pipe. If the pump is delivering 
against a pressure, as in feeding a 
boiler, reduce the pressure to "feet 
head" by dividing the pressure per 
square inch by 0.4. 

The boiler power required for. heat- 
ing may be computed in several dif- 
ferent ways. 

In the case of new buildings it is 
customary to compute the total heat 
loss from the building in heat units 
in the coldest weather, by one of the 
numerous rules in common use for 
this purpose, and divide the result by 
33,000. This gives the horse power 
necessary to evaporate the required 
amount of steam from and at 212 
degrees, but the conditions of tem- 
perature and pressure are so similar 
to this in low-pressure heating that no 
correction is necessary. 

Sometimes it is desired to install a 
boiler plant in a building where the 
radiation is already in place. In this 
case we may use the following rela- 
tions between radiating surface and 
boiler power, assuming that one boiler 
horse power will supply 130 sq. ft. of 
direct cast-iron radiation, 100 sq. ft. 
of direct wrought-iron pipe coils, 50 
sq. ft. of indirect cast-iron radiation, 
20 sq. ft. of steam blast coils. 

The boiler power computed in this 
manner should be increased about 10 
per cent, to cover the loss by radia- 
tion from the steam mains and re- 

Large buildings containing their 
own power plant are often provided 
with a hot-water supply for various 
purposes. The boiler power for hot- 
water heating is easily computed if 
the quantity of water and its initial 
and final temperatures are known. 

E x a m p l e. — What boiler horse 
power will be required to raise the 
temperature of 500 gal. of water per 
hour from 50 degrees to 180 degrees? 

500X8.3=4150 lb., and 180—50= 
130 degrees rise in temperature, from 
which it is evident that 4150X130= 
539,500 heat units are required. This 
calls for 539,500-7-33,000=16.3 b.h.p. 
Placing this in the form of an equa- 
tion we have : 

GX8. 3 X(T— TA 
H. P, = 

in which 

G=gallons of water to be heated per 

T 1 =initial temperature, 

T 2 =final temperature. 

When a building contains a power 
plant the exhaust steam is usually 
turned into the heating system ; in 
this case the boiler power for supply- 
ing the engines and pumps is first 
computed and about 80 per cent, of 
this may be considered available in 
the exhaust for heating purposes. 

If this is less than is required for 
heating in the coldest weather, addi- 
tional boiler power must be provided 
to make up the deficiency. In design- 
• ing a plant of any considerable size it 
is better to use several boilers of 
medium size rather than one or more 

very large ones, and it is also well to 
provide for a certain amount of re- 
serve power so that part of the plant 
may be shut down for repairs or in- 
spection without interfering with its 


In the Hands of a Receiver 

The American Diesel Engine Com- 
pany has filed a petition in bankruptcy. 
Adolphus Busch is the principal cred- 
itor, his claims amounting to $200,000. 
John D. Wilke was appointed receiver 
of the alleged bankrupt company by 
Judge Holt, with a bond of $50,000. 
He is authorized to continue the busi- 
ness for ten days. The assets of the 
corporation as described by the peti- 
tioning creditors consist of Diesel 
combustion oil engines, cash, accounts, 
and bills receivable, machinery, parts 
of engines, incompleted contracts for 
engines in course of construction, and 
personal property in the States of 
New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, Rhode 
Island, Texas, and Missouri, worth in 
excess of $100,000. 

It is said that a failure to complete 
contracts through a temporary suspen- 
sion of active business will impose 
upon the bankrupt estate heavy liabili- 
ties for breach of contract. 

Bvisiness Improving' 

The electrical manufacturing com- 
panies, both large and small, continue 
to report a gratifying - increase in 
orders and inquiries. 

The Allis-Chalmers Company re- 
ports a lot of substantial orders and a 
considerable increase in the volume of 
inquiries, which leads to the anticipa- 
tion of a heavy business in the spring. 
The department of mining machinery 
is particularly active, and much busi- 
ness is noted in municipal water and 
power plants. All the plants of the 
company are in operation. 

The General Electric Company re- 
ports a satisfactory increase in the 
number of orders recently taken, and 
a very bright outlook for the coming 
spring. The main plant at Schenectady 
is now running at about 70 per cent, 
of capacity, the Lynn works are em- 
ploying about 7000 workmen, while 
the lamp works at Harrison, N. J., 
are running at full capacity. 

The Westinghouse Companies say 
that business is steadily increasing, 
and each week sees increase in the 
working force. It is anticipated that 
by the first -of March the shops will 
be running at full capacity. The West- 
inghouse Air Brake Company went 
on full time with. the first of the year. 

The Western Electric Company is 
now operating at 80 per cent, of nor- 
mal capacity, and. expects shortly to 
return to normal conditions. 

The St. Regis Operating Engineers' 

Training School 

IN our last issue the mechanical plant 
and operating- methods of the en- 
gineering department of the Hotel 
St. Regis were described, and atten- 
tion was drawn to the notable results 
in the shape of improved operating 
efficiency and reduction of operating 
costs which has been attained there. 
It was also stated that in the opinion 
of those best qualified to judge, the 
principal factor in reaching these re- 
sults was the application of the bonus 
system in the boiler room. This state- 
ment in its broadest sense may be 
made to include the whole increase in 
the efficiency of the operating force, 
of which the bonus system is but an 
important part. The larger credit for 
the success that has been attained is 
unquestionably the fruition of the re- 
markable work that has been carried 
on under the auspices of the organi- 
zation whose official name is, "The 
St. Regis Hotel Engineering Depart- 
ment Relief and Educational Society." 
This society, which, apart from its 
protective features is really an organ- 
ized effort to improve the working 
force of the engineering department, 
may for the purposes of this article 
be considered as a training school for 
the firemen, engineers, plumbers, ma- 
chinists, present and prospective, and 
workers of all sorts who make up the 
operating and maintenance staff of 
this department of the hotel. Its 
membership roll includes nearly every 
one of the force, and now numbers 
about 32. 

Its objects cannot be more clearly 
set forth than they are in the first page 
of the Constitution and By-Laws, 
Article 2, Section 1, wherein is stated: 


Article 2. Section 1. The objects 
of this Society shall be the raising of 
funds to provide a weekly relief in- 
come to members in good standing 
during illness or accident and such 
other relief as may be deemed advis- 
able, and to assist in defraying burial 
expenses of the deceased member ; 
also to defray the expenses incurred 
in carrying on the training course 
which constitutes the Educational 
Branch of this Society. 

Section 2. As a further relief, mem- 
bers who are in good standing may 
apply to the Society for loans, not to 
exceed 10 days' pay of such member's 
monthly salary. Loan to be paid back 


in four successive and equal monthly 
installments plus 1 per cent, per dol- 
lar per month, on amounts due the 

Section 3. The object of the Edu- 
cational course is to give such prac- 
tical instruction and example as will 
further a spirit of manhood and in- 
duce the members of the department 
to become self-reliant, observing and 
manly men. Also the training such 
men to become safe and conscientious 
workmen, worthy to receive the Com- 
pany's Certificate of Merit for two 
years' service. 

Section 4. To ambitious holders of 
the Certificate of Merit, the training 
course will endeavor to supply the 
technical information most needed to 
make such workmen qualify as safe 
and efficient operating steam engi- 
neers, worthy to receive the Com- 
pany's Operating Steam Engineers' 
Apprenticeship Certificate for five 
years' service. 

It is the third and fourth sections 
that are of special interest to the read- 
ers of The Electrical Age. 

The Society was organized in the 
summer of 1906, and owes its being 
to Mr. J. C. Jurgensen, chief engi- 
neer of the hotel, who is its chief in- 
structor. This gentleman tells us 
that he found himself placed in charge 
of a plant containing every improved 
device for conducting the complex 
mechanical operations of a great mod- 
ern hotel, but instinctively felt that to 
obtain the best performance of the 
system as a whole, the improvement 
of the men was imperative. After 
months of study and experiment, the 
organization of the society was ef- 

In an address on the subject, de- 
livered some years ago, Mr. Jurgen- 
sen says : 

"The first thing to be done was to 
induce the whole body of men to be- 
come a conscientious group of earn- 
est and willing workers, and to take 
pride in their work, be it ever so 
lowly. Each man must be brought to 
understand that the universal watch- 
word is progress — progress for him- 
self and progress for everything per- 
taining to the safe, efficient and eco- 
nomical running of the plant. To 
this end thorough discipline is neces- 

"The aim was to have the whole 
body of men in the engineering de- 
partment work together as a unit for 

the common interest of the firm and 
of the men themselves. This, how- 
ever, was not an easy problem. Men 
with the necessary qualifications could 
not be found, partly because they did 
not exist in sufficient numbers and 
also because experienced men want 
more pay than can be given for the 
lower positions. It had always been 
a matter of surprise to me that no 
concerted action had been taken to- 
ward establishing a suitable system 
of training for turning out men 
capable of taking charge of the ever- 
increasing number of large and valu- 
able plants that are erected every year. 

"I was convinced that the prime 
necessity for the proper running of 
such plants is a solid, well-knit or- 
ganization of trained men, self-reliant 
and self-respecting, who would be able 
to turn in to the chief the detailed 
daily reports which are absolutely 
necessary to the successful operation 
of such a property." 

Very wisely it was decided to be- 
gin at the beginning ; that is, with the 
bottom grade of men. 

The men for the St. Regis course 
are, if possible, picked from good 
Christian homes, such having always 
proved the most dependable and wil- 
ling workers and students. They are 
those who are found to be ambitious 
and gritty enough to go through the 
different jobs in the modern plant, to 
study and observe as they go along, 
and bend their energies by a well- 
defined plan of procedure toward a 
definite end. 

A young man of this type, full of 
energy and the desire to do the right 
thing, is one of the best things in the 
world to invest in and is well worth 
training, and the knowledge obtained 
by doing practical and thorough work 
and knowing why and how he is doing 
it will soon enormously increase his 
usefulness and efficiency. 

The first thing after an applicant 
is selected is to talk with him about 
the general lines along which the 
course is conducted. A copy of the 
rules, which are few in number, some 
of which are shown on the certificates, 
is given him, and he is expected to 
make them a part of his daily conduct. 

He is expected to be industrious 
and not to waste his own and his em- 
ployer's time. 

He is expected to be punctual in 
all his engagements. 

He is expected to cultivate the habit 

February, 1909 



of attention to details and the methods 
of doing things. 

He must understand the importance 
of accuracy not only to himself but 
to the whole organization. 

The above are a sample of the gen- 
eral rules of conduct laid down. 

At the same time it is realized that 
too much dependence must not be 
placed on rules. Too much guidance 
and restraint will hinder a young man 
in forming habits of self-reliance. 

Now the motives that are held forth 
to induce the apprentice to submit to 
these conditions, and to give him the 
incentive to force his way through the 
dry details and hard work, are also 
made equally plain. 

He is informed in the first place 
that all the positions in the plant are 
graded in a certain order from the 
lowest to the highest, and that every 
new station brings with it an increase 
of pay. That his record in the course 
is carefully kept — and kept in public — 
and that he is to be promoted on his 
merits. The powerful force of public 
opinion is invoked by keeping these 
records hung up in the engine room. 
He is told that vacancies as they occur 
are always filled by the next man in 
line, if his record warrants it, and that 
no outside men are brought in to de- 
prive him of his promotion. He is 
told when there are not sufficient va- 
cancies to make such promotions, rea- 
sonably certain better positions outside 
are found for those who are qualified 
to fill them, so as to make room for 
the promotion of others. As an ad- 
ditional stimulus to the foregoing ad- 
vantages is added the presentation, at 
the completion of a certain term of 
service and amount of work, of a large 
engraved certificate of proficiency 
and merit, framed and ready for 

Copies of these certificates are 
shown in Fig. i, 2 and 3. Fig. 1 and 
2 are certificates of merit, and Fig. 3 
is an apprenticeship certificate, to se- 
cure which, the candidate must have 
earned the merit certificate and have 
five years of service with a good rec- 
ord to his credit. 

Having thus laid down the broad 
line of the course, it is instructive to 
follow up in some detail the course of 
study which is run in along with the 
actual work of operating the plant. 

The questions throughout the 
course, as may be seen from the 
samples submitted, are arranged in 
the order of importance, each one pre- 
senting a logical advance from the 
subject previously covered, and all ar- 
ranged with a view of fitting in with 
and illuminating the work actually 

The importance of small economies, 
the advantages of system and method 
in the work, the necessity of discipline 

and the usefulness of cultivating a 
habit of observation and thinking over 
what has been observed, and of being 
able to utilize it to his own advantage, 
are the first steps. The next thing 
to be taken up is the study of boilers 
and the boiler-room practice. Under 
this head 50 questions are given. 

The apprentices in steam engineer- 
ing are then introduced to the prin- 
ciples of engines and pumps, includ- 
ing valve setting, steam consumption 
and practical operating experience 
covered by another 50 questions. 

Next comes machine work, includ- 
ing shop methods, knowledge of met- 
als and the handling of such metals 
as used in the repair of machines and 
found in a good plant. These are 
treated in 25 questions. 

The entire schedule course of study 
for the actual steam engineer's work 
is as follows : 


Boilers and boiler room practice 50 

Chemistry of combustion and evaporation 20 

Engines and pumps 30 

— 50 

Machine Work and repairs 25 

Steam fitting and plumbing i5 

Sanitation 10 

— 25 

Hydraulic elevators and their care 12 

Electric elevators and their care 8 

— 20 

Refrigeration 15 

Mechanics of absorption and compression. .... 5 

— 20 

Heating and ventilating 20 

Direct current electricity 25 

Alternating current electricity 10 

— 35 
Practical steam engineering, including sketching 

of work 15 

Business pointers for steam engineering and 

engine room accounting 10 

Total 270 

The complete study course for this 
apprenticeship for operating engineers- 
thus includes 270 questions covering: 
the actual work as outlined, one ques- 
tion a week for five years. The young" 
man generally stays five years because 
the law in New York calls for five 
years in the engine room before an 
applicant can be examined for an en- 
gineer's license. In addition to these 
270 questions, 40 to 100 questions in 
arithmetic are given to the beginners 
before the regular study of the con- 
crete questions can be taken up ; this 
is done to see that the applicant can, 
with profit, take up the regular study. 

The men are told to buy a certain 
suitable book on arithmetic. Wher- 
ever it is thought advisable, the name 




Uas to tins doteQhm Ms fympastz await fatth&L and eflftci<mt serine* 
during ,. 5L .^aESll-JBWwHtS-AILJUi^ mBw &ltounn$ positions 

\ < 

f^l|crKfica& is a^en cnlgto employes tp&o fan* qnaltfrcd sl<?adtl£ 
during their whdk cwwwcrfott until titi* (SmuHUU* to flu? fcltounna Standards 

1 - 3>uv £caxB continuous Mtiw 

tit &\u strictest sefcrfetg. 

3>3 Shr ttthfitl and sunihv-ciHiduct. 

4% Iftmchsal la dflotdonct accept what mavendabk 4da& occarwd. 

5* Sufastdcm* and alwajj* afrfog flw cpttpang, a fall and honest dajjs work 

6% Strict and wtlKna obedience to ordas and cwnplianw wi& all flw%iks of Ik &mp«ML 

"Pakd flu* *&\**\ 4a^<>f3««MMM£l0M. 

Fig. 1 



February, 1909 

of a plain textbook on mechanical 
sketch drawing to measure is also 
.given to the student. It is something 
like the one used in Pratt's Institute, 
Cooper Union, or in the Correspond- 
ence School. As the man progresses, 
he will show the chief the results of 
his exercise in correct sketching for 
actual work he will have in hand. 

The following list comprises ques- 
tions chosen both from those asked in 
the body of the course and from those 
asked in the final examination for cer- 
tificates. A noteworthy feature of 
these is their absolute practicalness. 
Another is the little foreword which 
is often placed before the question as 
an aid to the apprentice to attack it 
in the right frame of mind. It must 
be remembered that the men who take 
these courses are not always used to 
the mental work involved, and any- 
thing that helps them to clearly ap- 
preciate its value is doubly useful. 


Edward O. Isackson, Assistant Instructor 

"The following questions should im- 
press upon the mind of every man 

wishing to be a successful operating 
engineer, the necessity of absolutely 
correct readings. No engineer can 
afford to come to conclusions with- 
out careful thought and reasoning. 

No. i. On a certain date, the engi- 
neers reported, in writing, the load on 
Unit No. i to be 1600 amperes at 117 
volts, and boiler pressure at 100 lb. 
Indicator cards taken at the same time 
show an initial pressure of 100 lb. and 
a total indicated horse power of 257.4. 
The friction load taken at same time 
showed 58.4 i.h.p. Effective indicated 
horse power = 257.4 — 58.4= 199. 

One indicated horse power = 746 
watts, which equals one electric horse 
power. According to the above read- 
ings we produced y2y watts per total 
indicated horse power. This is wrong, 
because it is impossible to get that 
much under the reported conditions. 

No. 1 a. Explain why, and how 
many watts per total indicated horse 
power is the most it can be? 

No. 1 b. Supposing the card and 
the voltmeter is right, how many 
amperes should be read? 

No. I c. Supposing everything is 






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during % ygats.3 xaxm&LS X&_ days in liw foUounn$ positions 

tote is <jn*n onlgto <tmp\ov&s who hove qualified stcadtb 
daring tMrtriwk <wuw<lion irtHt flits <fomj>an£ totiw follotrina Standards 

l* &w 5*»ts aniiitmons soviet. 

4% 5\mdw>l in a ftmdmet occq* rclwn muxedidMt dtlx^s exxttrred. 

S* ^niuetrioBt- <md always <jn>fog Bw company, a fall dad hctust dogs ttwk 

^ated Ms ^U*t do^r&w*****^**. 

Fie. 2 

right except the voltmeter, how many 
volts should be read? 

No. 1 d. Supposing the ampere- 
meter and voltmeter readings are 
right, how many more indicated horse 
power should the card show ?" 

Louis Stultz, Assistant Instructor. 

No. 1 a. Twenty-five gallons brine 
cooled one degree Fahr. in one minute 
being equal to one ton of refrigerating 
effect per 24 hr. What is the equiva- 
lent in tons of refrigerating effect for 
24 hr., to the amount of work done 
per hour in our brine cooler when the 
brine enters the cooler at 10 degrees 
Fahr. and is discharged at seven 
degrees Fahr. and the pump dis- 
charges 28 cu. ft. per min. ? 

No. 1 b. The freezing capacity of 
an ice machine depends entirely on the 
existing conditions, such as tempera- 
ture of the condensing water, the 
speed of the machine, etc. The di- 
mensions of each of our two ammonia 
compressors on machine No. 1 are 
10% x 20, and are double-acting, al- 
lowing 10 per cent, loss for action of 
suction, valves, clearance in cylinders, 
etc. The cubic contents of one stroke 
equals 1634 cu. in. With the engine 
making 50 rev. per min., with your 
gauges showing 168 lb. head pressure 
and 15 lb. back pressure; 3.975 cu. ft. 
of ammonia gas discharged per min- 
ute is one ton refrigerating effect in 
24 hr. What would be the amount of 
work done by compressors in tons per 
24 hr.? 

No. 1 c. What size of steam engine 
do you need if it requires i l / 2 i.h.p. 
to produce one ton of refrigerating 

No. 2 a. What would be the amount 
of work done in tons of refrigerating 
effect in a freezing tank when 30 cans 
of water at 75 degrees Fahr. is frozen 
into ice at 16 degrees Fahr., each can 
weighing 150 lb.? Specific heat of 
ice is equal to 0.504 B.t.u. ; latent heat 
of liquification is 142.4 B.t.u. and 
284,800 B.t.u. equals one ton of re- 
frigerating effect. 


Fred. Schumacher, Assistant Instructor. 

No. 1 a. How will you find the 
gears needed for cutting the threads 
on a Y^ -in. machine bolt (U. S. Stand- 
ard) if the lathe has no gear table 
on it. 

No. 1 b. Give a list of numbers of 
threads per inch on machine bolts 
from j4 m - U P to 2 in. by 1 / 16 -in. dif- 

No. 2 a. How will you line up an 

engine ? 

February, 1909 



No. 2 b. What is the usual result to 
your engine if it is allowed to work 
with improper alignment of moving 
parts ? 

No. 3. Describe the metal, the 
method of making, the heat required 
and the tempering colors needed for 
first-class drills, chisels, reamers and 

The course also includes a number 
of lessons covering practical engineer- 
ing. This branch is one of the longest 
of all, and consists in a large part of 
notes and sketches covering necessary 
connections and valves to be operated 
in case of shut-downs of a part of the 
machinery, or in case of accidents. 
It also includes the making of engine- 
run schedules. 


The following is a sample of a final 
examination question for Apprentices' 
Steam Engineering Certificate: 

"It is well understood by all of us 
that to produce results in an engine 
room, it is necessary to follow actual 
operating costs very closely, and to 
preserve the information gained in 
such a manner that it will act as a 
guide in all our work. 

Question 1 a. What would you do 
upon entering a position in which you 
had been told that the monthly ex- 
pense is $5,000, and that you could 
get the job for $150 per month and 
10 per cent, of savings additional, on 
condition that the expenses would be 
reduced by 10 per cent, through your 
efforts. State in detail your methods 
for earning that extra $50.00 per 

1 b. If you find in your job that a 
compression ice machine is used, and 
you also find that the return condens- 
ing water cannot be used to advan- 
tage, assuming you used 1000 cu. ft. 
of water per hour at 65 degrees Fahr., 
which cost $7.00, the steam engine 
driving compressors operating against 
a head of 150 lb. develops 75 b.h.p. 
each at 22 lb. steam, a boiler horse 
power is developed for 3.75 lb. coal 
at $2.50 per net ton, which is the 
cheapest to increase the head pressure 
to save water or continue the same 
head press to save steam. 

1 c. In your engine room a number 
of small steam leaks are found either 
in leaky pipe and flange joints, and 
worn-out valve-discs, or in drop- 
valves carelessly left open. The total 
area of these holes we will assume to 
be equal to that of a >4-inch pipe, left 
open all the time. The steam pressure 
is 115 lb. gauge.- Assuming the ca- 
pacity of the boilers to be 300 h.p. and 
that they are worked to their full 
rating, what is the percentage of loss 
to your employer, due to these leaks? 

(Use Napiers' Formula for finding 
the weight of escaping steam.) 

a. Assuming you used five pounds 
of coal per boiler horse power at $3.25 
per ton, how much did you cause the 
company to lose by allowing those 
leaks to go on day and night for one 

b. An engine and dynamo outfit the 
full load of which is 2500 amperes. 
The friction load, according to our 
indicator diagram, is found to be 15 
per cent, at full load. If we assume 
the actual kilowatt-hour cost to be 
1.25 per cent, at full load, how much 
and why do you increase the kilowatt- 
hour cost to the company if this outfit 
is allowed to run with a load of 1700 
amperes ?" 

It is obvious that the answer to a 
question like this can only be made by 
one who has not only been "through 
the mill" and has learned to use the 
knowledge acquired by him there. 

When all of the questions are num- 
bered and printed on separate sheets 
and the answers are also printed in 
book form with the corresponding 
numbers, it is an easy matter for the 

man in charge to see how near correct 
the various answers are, and to ease 
the work for the chief instructor, who 
is to correct the answers ; and at the 
same time there is a chance to exer- 
cise one of the rules mentioned on the 
certificate, namely, willingness to help 
each other. The answers to the vari- 
ous questions on subjects will be 
turned over to the man who is in ac- 
tual charge of the kind of work cov- 
ered by the question. If he does not 
know them very well himself, he is 
certain to be pretty careful to find out 
before he passes his approval or dis- 
approval of them to the chief. In this 
way the whole school becomes a co- 
operative educational body, based on 
sound principles. This method also 
creates a desire in the older men in 
charge of work to show the younger 
men the way up, and reduces labor 
and time for the chief instructor, and 
also makes a better feeling among the 

Where it is possible, blueprints 
from the manufacturers of the various 
machines studied are secured. This 
enables the men to trace off the parts 

nos to Ms date ainen Ms €ont$>an£ most taiihfid and efficient service 
4ttmg 2a^:gcars ...v.. rmontns mAm,* dans in the Jottotptna; positions 

(2o<x&pcu&ax, £*w? &vi4+wxt*., «5?«<y^l bo Sfww&ax. arvu> O&aafcot 9>ti<*c&iw«fc, ctUjkxvu+uvh., 
Gitvi -a*u* C\**ieba*Jk to (3&ic^ O n<jWc«i . mJ/C' >wvo mm»wm«>iO him a* <x*\ 

liwisllerKftcate isgivm onl^to employees wno have qnattfied steadily 
dnrraa, their whole connection imttt Ms (f<rotj>an£ to the Jollotoavj Standards 

t£ 3Sw 2.<ais conthwotts .scroce. 

2$ She strictest sobriety 

2$ Srothtnl and manhj, condnct. 

4% Iftmcinal in attendance accept rotten nnarotdaMe delays occurred. 

.5* aSndnstrions and cdn\tg5 gwroa flw company, 0, fid! and honest dags work. 

6* Strict and nnnina; obcdtcncc to orders and compliance totln aU flw$&Us of the <S?mpann_ 

*Pa&d fkxs/£yvok da^^S^t^va^t^Od. 

Fig. 3 



February, 1909 

involved in the discussion, and it 
makes a valuable addition to the 

In order to make parts of the course 
clearer, some of the questions are 
written out in the form of short lec- 
tures. These precede each main branch 
before the study is taken up, and give 
the various, constants, tables and de- 
tails needed and also refer to suit- 
able books covering the branch, so as 
to enable the student to go further if 
he wants to. The questions for each 
branch are, of course, studied while 
the man is on that kind of work. 

The questions in arithmetic, as far 
as possible, are on simple mechanics 
in order to make them serve as an in- 
troduction to the later study. It is, 
of course, not thought that this sched- 
ule of study is all that a steam engi- 
neer needs, but it is hoped that what 
he has done will instill in the more 
ambitious a desire to further study, 
and as for those with less ambition 
and will-power it at least helps them 
to make them more useful to them- 
selves and to their employers as safe 
and reliable men. If this end is met, 
the labor expended on carrying the 
work on is well spent, and the results 
richly repay the efforts made. 


In a system of discipline it is very 
necessary to avoid anything that 
savors of favoritism. It must be car- 
ried on in such a way that every man 
has an equal chance to gain, by expe- 
rience, a better position and the Cer- 

The entire scope of the disciplinary 
system of this course may be gathered 
from the following set of rules gov- 
erning the award of certificates. 


Rule No. i. Two years' continuous 

a. Each week's service entitles to 
10 points on the record. To earn a 
Certificate of Proficiency and Merit, 
iooo points out of a total of 1040 in 
a period of two years' continuous 
service must be to the applicant's 
credit on the weekly record posted in 
the engine room. 

Rule No. 2. The strictest sobriety. 

a. If found under the influence of 
liquor while at work, immediate dis- 
charge will follow. 

Rule No. . 3. Truthful and manly 

a. For unwillingness to help each 
other, untruthful and unmanly con- 
duct, reduction in position or dis- 
charge will follow, or a reduction of 
from five to 40 points from Certificate 
record each time. 

Rule No. 4. Punctuality in attend- 

a. For each five minutes late in the 
coming in or five minutes early in 
going out, except when unavoidable 
delays occurred or when permission 
was given, deduct one point for each 
five minutes and x /l point for each 
fraction of five minutes. 

Rule No. 5. To be industrious and 
always give the Company a full and 
honest day's work. 

a. If found shirking and not attend- 
ing to work as an honorable workman 
would, reduction in position or dis- 
charge will follow, or a reduction of 
from five to 40 points from Certificate 
of record each time. 

Rule No. 6. Strict and willing obe- 
dience to orders and compliance with 
all the Rules of the Company. 

a. If found to disobey orders of su- 
periors and Rules of the Company 
wilfully and knowingly, reduction in 
position or discharge will follow, or a 
deduction of from five to 40 points 
from Certificate record each time. 

Rule No. 7. Should it be found that 
any member of the Engineering De- 
partment neglects or misunderstands 
his duty by shielding actions or meth- 
ods of others which in any way are 
detrimental to the Company, or to the 
welfare and reputation of the Engi- 
neering Department or its individual 
members, such action will be con- 
strued as a violation of Rules No. 3 
and No. 6. 

a. If any man has been posted 
on the record three times for infrac- 
tions against one or all of the Rules — 
3, 5, 6 — he has forfeited his right 
to receive the customary vacation with 
pay earned by one year's good service. 

b. The fourth time a man is posted 
for an infraction against one or all 
the said Rules 3, 5, 6, he will be re- 
duced to a lower position or he will 
be discharged from the service. 

c. Any man discharged under one 
of Rules 2, 3, 5, 6, will, upon his re- 
quest, receive a paper certifying to 
the length of time employed in the 
Engineering Department, and no 

d. Any man when once discharged 
under one of Rules 2, 3, 5, 6, will un- 
der no circumstances receive a letter 
of recommendation. 

e. Any man when once discharged 
under one of Rules 2, 3, 5, 6, will un- 
der no circumstances be reemployed. 
A discharge under Rules 2, 3, 5, 6, 
means that the man was found to be 
useless and a burden to the Engineer- 
ing Department. 

f. Charges against any man will be 
acted upon only when a straightfor- 
ward, written statement is made and 
openly signed and attested to in the 
Daily Engine Room Record Book. 
This book is open to every member of 
the department for all questions re- 
lating to above Rules. 

Rule No. 8. Any man holding our 
Certificate of Proficiency and Merit, 
and has five- years' continuous service 
with a good record to his credit, is en- 
titled to our Apprenticed Operating 
Engineers' Certificate under the fol- 
lowing conditions : 

a. Applicant for Apprenticed Op- 
erating Engineers' Certificate should, 
as near as possible, have worked six 
months at each of the following po- 
sitions : 

Helper to watch engineers, fireman, 
electrician, plumber, machinist and 
repair engineer. Engine oiler, ice- 
machine attendant and elevator re- 

b. Length of service, ability and 
willingness to work in present position 
governs the right to be examined for 
promotion. If the applicant has not 
made use of his opportunities and is 
not ready to stand examination on 
questions relating to the desired posi- 
tion, the next man in the service will 
be examined, and with a satisfactory 
examination and a good record he 
will be promoted. 

c. Applicant for Apprenticed Oper- 
ating Engineers' Certificate is required 
to answer, in writing, to the chief 
and watch engineers' satisfaction, the 
prescribed questions. 

d. Applicant must be able to read 
and make complete mechanical draw- 
ings. Proof of study in a correspond- 
ence or evening school will be pre- 

The training-school when it has 
turned out a good man is proud to 
stand behind him, and some of the 
little company who have gone out 
from the St. Regis engineering force 
have done very well. In connection 
with the use of the merit and bonus 
system wherever it could be applied, 
the effect of the training given has 
been to quicken the spirit and action of 
the force. The results obtained speak 
for themselves. 

The fact that there is nothing new 
or original in the ideas put into prac- 
tice makes it all the more remarkable 
that their application is not more gen- 
eral. Far-seeing men for a long time 
past have pointed out that in that way 
lies the only true solution of the so- 
called "labor problem." 

The next few years will see the 
rapid spread of the system, and it is 
the hope of those who have put so 
much time and thought on the de- 
velopment of the courses described in 
this article that they may ultimately 
be able to extend their radius of ac- 
tion far beyond their present narrow 
limits and enable any good man and 
true in this city or elsewhere, who 
wishes to do so, to utilize the very real 
advantages to be gained by those who 
are willing to work and think while 
they work. 

Public Service Commission Report 


THE report of the Public Service 
Commission of the State of 
New York for the year 1908, 
covering both the First and Second 
Districts, has been made public. 

In the report of the First District 
Commission one of the most striking 
facts brought out is the enormous 
traffic of the surface, elevated and 
subway roads of New York City. 
Last year these roads carried I ,300,- 
000,000 passengers, which is more than 
half again as much as the total num- 
bers of passengers of all the steam 
railroads of the United States. The 
total capitalization of these companies 
is $533,000,000 and their annual re- 
ceipts from their passengers is $62,- 
000,000. The gas and electric com- 
panies are capitalized over $386,000,- 
000, and the former sold over 32 
billions of cubic feet, which is about 20 
per cent, of the entire gas production 
of the entire country. 

The income from the sale of elec- 
tricity in New York City is over $20,- 

The report states that it received 
over 3,000 complaints as to service 
rendered by transportation companies, 
and about 9,000 concerning gas and 
electric corporations ; mostly concern- 
ing the accuracy of meters. Nearly 
all these complaints have been ad- 
justed without a formal hearing, and 
in the few cases where one was neces- 
sary the companies have accepted the 
commissioner's finding and giving the 
relief suggested. 

The problems which have arisen 
with gas and electric companies dur- 
ing the year have related principally 
to the instruments for measuring the 
service and to the conditions that the 
companies have sought to improve in 
their contracts of service. The re- 
port adds: 

"The various types of electric 
meters in use in the city are being 
tested and examined to determine 
whether there are any that ought not 
to be used because of defects in 
principle or nature of construction. 

"One of the conditions imposed by 
the companies when the electric in- 
quiry was begun provided that a con- 
sumer could take electricity from no 
other source, even including in the 
prohibition his own lighting plant. 
This condition was gradually driving 
out of use the private plants in the 
large buildings, for the owners could 
not run the risk of their own plants 
breaking down and be without the 
ability to get electricity from the com- 
pany. The commission has brought 

about an agreement upon the part of 
the company to give 'break-down' and 
'auxiliary' service to owners of private 

The First District Commission then 
takes up the question of new legisla- 
tion regarding rapid transit in the 
city, and makes the following recom- 
mendation : 

"A constitutional amendment ex- 
empting from the 10 per cent, debt 
limit bonds for the construction of 
rapid transit lines, when, so far and so 
long as such rapid transit lines shall 
be self-supporting. 

"An amendment to the Rapid 
Transit Act providing the operating 
contracts for extensions of rapid 
transit lines may be made to termi- 
nate at the same time as the original 
operating contract, the commission 
having the power in conjunction with 
the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment to fix the terms, conditions and 
compensation and to readjust same 
each twenty years thereafter. Such 
phraseology should be used as will 
make it clear that extensions pro- 
ceeding beyond terminals are alone 

"An amendment to the Rapid 
Transit Act which will give this com- 
mission the power in conjunction with 
the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment to allow the construction and 
operation of rapid transit lines by 
private companies upon payment of 
part of the earnings to the city, or 
other proper terms, and with a reser- 
vation to the city to purchase at any 
time after a certain period, not more 
than twenty years and without any 
payment for the franchise itself. 

"An amendment to the Rapid 
Transit Act which shall give this com- 
mission the power, in conjunction 
with the Board of Estimate and Ap- 
portionment, to grant franchises to 
existing corporations owning rapid 
transit lines, to construct and main- 
tain additional tracks on the whole 
or part of their routes, with a reserva- 
tion to the city of the privilege to 
purchase at any time after a certain 
period of not more than twenty years 
and without any payment for the 
franchise itself. Such phraseology 
should be used as will make it clear 
that extensions proceeding beyond 
terminals are alone intended. 

"An amendment to the Rapid 
Transit Act making it possible for the 
commission, in conjunction with the 
Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment, to make operating contracts for 
a longer period than twenty years, or 

else to make operating contracts 
terminable at any time after a cer- 
tain period of not more than twenty 
years, with a provision that the equip- 
ment shall be purchased at a fair price 
by the city at the termination of the 

"An amendment of the Rapid 
Transit Act rescinding the require- 
ment that the operator must pay in- 
terest and a specific annual sum for 
sinking fund on the entire cost of a 
rapid transit line, and permitting the 
commission and the Board of Esti- 
mate and Apportionment to adapt the 
operating contract to the specific needs 
of each case. 

"The commission favors permitting 
the cost of rapid transit lines to be 
assessed in whole or in part on the 
lands benefited, but it is not yet pre- 
pared to recommend a definite 

"Greater freedom should be given to 
those who have to arrange the terms 
of operating contracts, and so long as 
the concurrent action of the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment and a 
State board like the Public Service 
Commission is requisite, there is little 
danger that the terms will be made 
more lenient than the situation actual- 
ly demands. These two authorities 
should be allowed to make the best 
possible terms with a private company 
for operating and also to undertake 
the municipal operation if no private 
operator can be secured upon reason- 
able terms, or if municipal operation 
seems preferable. The principle of 
acquiring interest and provision for a 
sinking fund would ordinarily be ob- 
served, but the city ought not to be 
bound to take an operator upon cer- 
tain terms specified in advance, or 
else be compelled to adopt municipal 

The commission advocates the tak- 
ing of bonds issued for new subways 
out of the city's debt limit. It is 
pointed out that it has been proved 
that subways are self-sustaining, and 
that therefore the constitution should 
be so amended as to exempt from the 
city's indebtedness corporate stock 
sold for the construction of new sub- 

Concerning the attitude of the 
Board of Estimate toward building of 
new subways, the report says : 

"Owing to the refusal of the board 
to act, subway building has been held 
up over seven months, and the day 
when the citizens of New York will 
be transported in decency and com- 
fort has thereby been placed further 




February, 1909 

and further into the future. Several 
miles of new subway would to-day be 
under construction if the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment had 
acted upon the contracts before it had 
authorized an expenditure of less than 
$3,000,000. The Public Service Com- 
mission has exercised every function 
bestowed upon it to secure the con- 
struction of the new routes and is in 
no way responsible for the fact that 
no work has been started during the 
last year upon new routes." 

The commission, in referring to the 
report of Mr. B. T. Arnold, who was 
retained as a special engineer to make 
an investigation of the subway, that 
in line with the recommendations they 
made, it has ordered two experimental 
trains equipped with side doors to be 
put into service. It is expected that 
the first one of them, an eight-car 
train equipped with pneumatic opera- 
tion to the city of the privilege to 
in service in the subway in February. 
A- new system of speed-control signals 
is about to be tried on the express 

The report of the Second District 
Commission is devoted mainly to 
questions of capitalization and ac- 
counting. There are now 85 corpora- 
tions, municipalities, or individuals 
-engaged in business that brings them 
under the control of the commission. 
Of these 313 were classed as "elec- 
trical," including 48 municipal operat- 
ing plants. There were 141 street 
railway corporations, 48 gas and elec- 
trical and 4 natural gas and electrical 
corporations. The various cases of 
application for permission to capi- 
talize, or to increase the capitalization 
that have been passed upon by the 
commission during the past year are 
taken up and discussed. One of the 
most interesting is that covering the 
question as to what extent the invest- 
ing public might be justified in rely- 
ing upon the authorization given by 
the commission as an implied certifi- 
cate that the bonds or stock to be 
issued were worth their face value, 
or any other amount. This question 
arose upon the application of the Hud- 
son River Electric Power Company 
for leave to issue $3,232,000 bonds. 
The commission said: "In passing 
upon the application for leave to issue 
additional capital stock, the commis- 
sion will consider: Whether there is 
reasonable prospect of fair return 
upon the investment proposed to the 
end that . securities having apparent 
worth, but actually little or no value 
may not be issued with our sanction. 
We think that to a reasonable ex- 
tent the interests of the investing pub- 
lic should be considered by us in pass- 
ing upon these applications. The com- 
mission should satisfy itself that, in 
a general way, the venture will be 

likely to prove commercially feasible, 
but it should not undertake to reach 
or announce a definite conclusion that 
the new construction or improvement 
actually constitutes a safe or attractive 
basis for investment. Commercial en- 
terprises depend for their success tipon 
so many conditions which cannot be 
foreseen or reckoned with in advance, 
that the duty of the commission is 
discharged as to applications of this 
character when it has satisfied itself 
that the contemplated purpose is a 
fair business proposition. 

In regard to accounting, the com- 
mission calls especial attention to the 
fact that in the preparation of uni- 
form systems of account it "has kept 
in constant touch with the corpora- 
tions themselves, has invited and 
profited by constant comment and 
criticism, and has endeavored in every 
way to make the bookkeeping it pre- 
scribes as practical, as well as theoreti- 
cally correct." 

As regards service and complaints, 
the report states that in enforcing the 
provision of the Public Service Law 
that "every electrical corporation shall 
provide or keep in and upon its prem- 
ises a suitable and proper apparatus to 
be approved, stamped and marked by 
the commission for the purpose of 
testing and proving the accuracy for 
electric meters furnished for use by 
it : "The commission found that 34 
of the plants of 325 electrical corpora- 
tions were not selling electric energy 
on a meter basis, and were therefore 
not required to obtain standards. Of 
291 electrical corporations operating 
electric meters, 218 were found 
with no standards, or insufficiently 
equipped with standards. Recom- 
mendations were made to each of these 
companies, based upon the inspector's 
reports, indicating the type of instru- 
ment best adapted to the need of each 
company, and resulting in 167 com- 
panies equipping themselves with sat- 
isfactory standards; 51 plants operat- 
ing on a limited scale filed objections 
to incurring the expense. Considera- 
tion was of necessity given to such ob- 
jections, and where, upon investiga- 
tion, the commission was of the opin- 
ion the objections were well founded, 
compliance with the recommendations 
was for the time being waived. Four- 
teen other companies, unable for the 
present to finance the purchase of 
standards, entered into arrangement, 
with the approval of the commission, 
for the use of instruments of com- 
panies operating in adjacent terri- 

"A comparatively large number of 
companies having reported by June 23, 
1908, the installation of the apparatus 
recommended by the commission, a 
resolution was adopted providing that 
each electrical corporation provided 

with apparatus for testing the accura- 
cy of electric meters furnished to its 
consumers report to the commission 
the customers' meters tested each 
month with such apparatus beginning 
with August, 1908. 

Increase in Telegraph. 

The stockholders of the American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company 
have authorized an increase in the 
capital stock from $250,000,000 to 
$300,000,000. This increase is to pro- 
vide a sufficient margin for the con- 
version into stock, on March 1st, of 
the $150,000,000 four per cent, con- 
vertible bonds which will then be out- 
standing. The amount of stock at 
present unissued is $69,413,000, the 
amount of stock now issued being 

A special meeting of the Central 
and South American Telegraph Com- 
pany was held on February 5th, for 
the purpose of authorizing an increase 
of the capital stock from $12,000 to 

Resolutions on the Death, of 

FredericK A.. C Perrine, 

Member A. I. E. E. 

At a meeting of the Board of Di- 
rectors of the American Institute of 
Electrical Engineers, held on Decem- 
ber 11, 1908, the following resolu- 
tions on the death of Dr. Frederick 
A. C. Perrine was adopted : 

Whereas, Frederick Auten Combs 
Perrine, as a graduate student at 
Princeton University, as electrician of 
the United States Electric Light Com- 
pany, as manager for John A. Roeb- 
ling's Sons Company, as treasurer of 
the Germania Electric Company, as 
chief engineer of the Standard Elec- 
tric Company, as president of the 
Stanley Electric Manufacturing Com- 
pany, and as professor of electrical 
engineering in Leland Stanford, Jr., 
University, was of great influence in 
raising the standard and extending 
the scope of the electrical engineering 
profession ; and 

Whereas, he. as a director and as a 
committeeman of the American Insti- 
tute of Electrical Engineers, heartily 
participated in its activities, thereby 
extending its usefulness ; it is hereby 

Resolved, that the Board of Di- 
rectors of this Institute considers that 
his death, on October 20, 190S, has 
deprived the Institute of a much- 
valued member and the electrical en- 
gineering profession of an active and 
resourceful worker ; and, it is further 

Resolved, that these resolutions be 
spread by the minutes of this meeting, 
that they be printed in the Proceed- 
ings, and that a copy of them be sent 
to Mrs. Perrine. 

February, 1909 



General News 

It is announced by a representative 
of the United States Telephone Co. 
that a long distance telephone and 
telegraph service will shortly be oper- 
ated in opposition to the Bell interests. 
A $10,000,000 holding company will 
be incorporated in a week, backed by 
Eastern and St. Louis capital. 

The Mexican Light & Power Com- 
pany is preparing to increase its plant 
from 50,000 to 124,000 horse-power, 
and to accomplish this, will construct 
30 km. of canals and tunnels to bring 
water into use from rivers now un- 
touched. Other improvements will be 
made, regardless of whether it is to 
become combined with the Mexico 
Trainways, Limited, or remain an in- 
dependent company, furnishing light 
and power for the greater part of 
the Federal district. 

The United Railways of San Fran- 
cisco has completed a merger with the 
Stanislaus Power Company following 
an agreement to supply that company 
with power for operating the street 
railway lines in San Francisco. At 
present the power company is also 
selling its power to the Pacific Gas 
and Electric Company. It now pro- 
poses to complete a steam plant of 
considerable capacity in San Francisco 
as an auxiliary and reserve for the 

The Great Western Power Com- 
pany, the largest corporation of its 
kind in the West, has completed its 
plans for the erection of a large steam 
turbine plant, along the water front at 

This plant will be used as a steam 
reserve in connection with the hydro- 
electric services which up to the pres- 
ent is supplied by the 124,000 kw. 
station up in the Sierras. It will con- 
tain 5000 kw. turbines and will be ar- 
ranged for oil burning. It is expected 
that this plant will be ready for service 
within eight months after the con- 
struction is begun. 

The Ontario Power Co. is contem- 
plating an addition to its generating 
plant which will increase the total ca- 
pacity by 65,000 h.p. Another pipe 
line or tunnel will have to be con- 
structed to the power house for this 
purpose, and the cost of the work will 
approximate $800,000. 

The increase in the plant is made 
necessary because of the contract 
which has been executed with the 
Canadian Hydro-electric Commission 
to supply current to 14 municipalities 
in the provinct of Ontario. Under 
the terms of its charter the Ontario 
Power Co. may develop 180,000 h.p. 
When the contemplated addition is 
completed the plant will be able to de- 
liver 140,000 h.p. 

Recent advices from the West state 
that the Sanitary District Comn ission 
of Chicago has decided to increase 
the equipment of the drainage canal 
of the power plant at Lockport. At 
present the capacity of this power- 
house is contained in three 4000-kw., 
60 cycle, 6600 volt three phase units. 
Two other units of the same size will 
shortly be put into service, and a third 
unit of equal capacity has been or- 
dered from the Western Electric Co., 
which will complete the doubling of 
the capacity of the plant. 

The last generator is the largest al- 
ternating current machine that the 
Western Electric Company has ever 
turned out. The delivery is for June 
1st, and the contract price given as 
$25,748. Six General Electric trans- 
formers were also ordered for raising 
and lowering to and from the line 
voltage (44,000), the primary distri- 
bution voltage in Chicago being 

Money for New Yorh's 
Trolley Cars 

The report of the vice-president and 
general manager of the New York 
City Railway Company states that 
within two or three years $25,000,000 
must be expended on the surface lines 
of New York City. This declaration 
means that another $15,000,000 should 
be appropriated for rehabilitation after 
the expenditure of about $10,000,000 
of contracts already let. The receivers 
have borrowed on certificate of $3,- 
500,000 and have spent, or contracted 
to spend, $4,000,000 more. 

Westing'Hoxise "Wages Restored 

Quietly and without any previous 
announcement of its intention, the 
Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co. has 
restored the wages of its 3,000 em- 
ployees 'to the basis that prevailed be- 
fore last March, when a cut was made 
in line with the policy of rigid econo- 
my which was then inaugurated. 

The increase in the payroll, it is 
said, will amount to $500,000 a year. 
The credit for this step is due to Mr. 
George Westinghouse, personally, this 
being his first care upon resuming the 
control of the property. 

size (16-c-p. lamps), the smaller of 
which is expected to be large enough 
to illuminate the general run of 
suburban homes, and which can be in- 
stalled, complete, for less than $200. 

Entirely self-contained, the engine, 
base, dynamo and rheostat weigh less 
than 600 lb., while the outfit occupies 
a floor-space of only 2 ft. in width, 
by less than 6 ft. in length. A spe- 
cially designed Westinghouse dynamo, 
iy 2 kw., is connected by belt with an 
Elbridge "Gem" 2-4 h.p., 2-cycle, air- 
cooled engine, described by the makers 
as the most simple and at the same 
time the most powerful for its size 
on the market. It is complete, as 
shown in the illustration; oil and 
gasoline, batteries and coil occupying 
separate compartments in the base. 
Absolute cleanliness is secured by the 
elimination of all outside oilers. So 
great is the radiating surface of the 
cylinders that no fan, beyond the spe- 
cially designed spokes of the fly- 
wheels, is required to keep it cool. 
The manufacturers claim that its 

A. Neat Lig'Hting Outfit 

An inexpensive, though high-class and 
practically fool-proof, electric-lighting 
plant to meet the demand created by 
the rapidly increasing number of 
suburban residences, is about to be 
placed on the market by the Elbridge 
Engine Company, of Rochester, N. Y. 
With the intention of meeting a par- 
ticular demand, the company plans to 
make these plants regularly in only 
two sizes — a 20-lamp and a 50-lamp 

efficiency is affected neither by heat 
nor cold, and that it starts as readily 
and runs as well with the thermometer 
at zero as at 100 degrees Fahr. in the 

Two pulleys are provided, one on 
each side. That operating the dyna- 
mo has a friction clutch, so that the 
engine may be started without load. 
On the opposite fly-wheel is a solid 
pulley. This combination allows the 
owner to use the engine for such pur- 
poses as pumping water, running sew- 
ing or washing-machines, cream 
separators, etc., when its power is not 
required for lighting. Full description 
of this attractive little plant may be 
had on application to the Elbridge En- 
gine Company, 19 Culver Road r 
Rochester, N. Y. 



February, 1909 

Questions and Answers 

Question. — / have a tungsten lamp 
which has blackened up considerably, 
much as the old carbon filament lamps 
used to. What is the cause of it? 

Answer. — An occasional lamp in a 
batch of tungsten metallic filament 
lamps will blacken as you describe. 
Manufacturers are unable to satis- 
factorily explain this, but think it due 
to faulty or careless work on the part 
of some operator during the course 
of manufacture. If you will call the 
attention of your lamp agent to this 
lamp, he will probably replace it with 
a new one, free of charge. 

Question. — Is it good practice to 
parallel the low-tension side of trans- 
formers in a lighting district where 
there are several close together? 

Answer.— It is entirely advisable to 
parallel the low-tension side of the 
transformers, provided they have such 
characteristics as permit satisfactory 
operation in parallel. The advantages 
are in working the transformers at a 
better load and in utilizing the copper 
in the secondary distribution system 
to the best advantage. It is advisable, 
however, that each transformer be 
properly fused, so as to cut itself out 
n case of being damaged. A fuse of 
esser capacity should be placed at 
some point in the primary, so as to 
protect the entire group against ordi- 
nary fuse-blowing troubles, and also 
permitting quick replacement. 

Question. — // one transformer in a 
bank of three delta-connected single- 
phase transformers is cut out, what 
is the affect on the three-phase ap- 
paratus fed from the bank? How is 
the load on them calculated? 

Answer. — The load on the bank 
will remain unchanged, as there is no 
change in the conditions of the circuit 
where the load is balanced. It will be 
divided between two transformers in- 
stead of three, as before, and would 
be calculated in the same way as be- 
fore, i. e., by multiplying the measured 
ampere by the measured volts and the 
product multiplied by V3> assuming 
that the power factor of the load is 
unity. In case the power factor is 
not unity, the product of the above 
quantities must be corrected accord- 

Question. — What is meant by the 
"saturation factor" of a machine, such 
as a dynamo or motor? 

Answer. — -As defined by the Stand- 
ardization Rules of the A. I. E. E., 
the saturation factor is the ratio of a 
small percentage increase in the ex- 
citation of the magnetic field of the 
machine to the corresponding percent- 
age increase in the volts thereby pro- 
duced. The saturation factor is, 

therefore, a criterion of the degree of 
saturation attained in the magnetic 
circuit of the machine at any degree of 
excitation selected. Unless otherwise 
specified, however, the saturation 
factor of a machine refers to the 
excitation existing at normal rated 
speed and voltage. It is determined 
from measurements of saturation made 
on open circuit at rated speed. The 
"saturation factor" should not be 
confounded with the "percentage of 
saturation to which it has the relation 

p = I — i/f 
where f is the saturation factor and 
p the percentage of saturation ratio." 

Question. — How does a Mercury 
Arc Rectifier work and is the current 
obtained therefrom a direct current? 

Answer. — A Mercury Arc Rectifier 
has three essential parts : ( I ) The 
tube; (2) Reactance; (3) Panel, 
switches, etc. The tube is an ex- 
hausted glass vessel containing a small 
amount of mercury. It has four 
terminals, the two on the opposite 
sides being connected directly across 
the alternating-current supply are 
known as anodes. The middle or bot- 
tom terminal forms the positive ter- 
minal of the direct-current circuit, and 
is known as cathode. There is also a 
small auxiliary-starting anode for the 
purpose of striking the arc. The re- 
actance is simply an inductive resist- 
ance connected in parallel with the 
anodes above mentioned directly 
across the alternating current line, and 
a tap from its middle point forms the 
negative terminal of the direct-current 
circuit. The panel and the switches 
are used to control the operation and 
make the various connections. The 
action of the rectifier is, briefly, as 
follows: The alternating-current sup- 
ply is made alive to the reactance and 
the anodes. As there is no conducting 
element across the two anodes, no cur- 
rent will flow. 

The tube is shaken, a metallic con- 
nection is made from the starting 
anode to the cathode, which in turn 
starts an arc, and this arc gives off the 
vapor. Mercury vapor has the very 
peculiar property of conducting cur- 
rent from a positive wave, but forms 
an insulator to a negative impulse. 
As each of the anodes become alter- 
nately positive and negative each 
cycle, the current will follow the va- 
por from that anode, which at that 
particular instant is positive to the 
cathode. At the same instant the re- 
maining anode is negative and this 
half of the wave is being stored, as it 
were, in the reactance to be given off 
on the next reversal, or in other 
words, the reactance acts as an auto- 
converter, which steps down the volt- 
age in approximately a two-to-one 
ratio. Thus, we get a unidirectional 

current, the current being from the 
positive cathode through the receptive 
device, such as Battery, Motor, etc., 
back to the negative terminal of the 
circuit or the middle point of the re- 
actance. The current thus derived is 
a rectified current and is similar in 
wave form to the current derived 
from a direct-current arc machine, 
and is entirely satisfactory for all 
classes of work requiring a direct cur- 

Question.- — We have a five horse 
power, two-phase, 220-volt induction 
motor with a starting compensator 
that operates in a very peculiar man- 
ner, and we would like to know if you 
can tell us what is the trouble? The 
line voltage is 0. K. We throw in 
the compensator and the motor starts 
promptly, comes up to speed and con- 
tinues to operate at the proper speed 
after the switch is thrown to the run- 
ning position. When, however, we 
throw on a moderate load the motor 
begins to slow down, and if the load 
is not lessened a fuse blows. 

Answer. — If you will remove the 
cover from the compensator and look 
at the switch contacts, you will un- 
doubtedly find an open circuit on the 
running side. The motor starts two- 
phase, and upon being thrown over to 
the running position it runs on single- 
phase current, which it will do as long 
as there is no load. Naturally, when 
you throw on a load the speed drops, 
and the one-phase being overloaded 
promptly blows a fuse. 

Question. — Is it possible to run a 
direct-connected engine-driven alter- 
nator in parallel with synchronous 
motor-driven alternator with good re- 

Answer. — There is no difficulty, 
whatever, in running an engine- 
driven alternator in parallel with a 
synchronous motor set, provided you 
observe the usual precautions in syn- 
chronizing two alternators. Inas- 
much, however, as it will be impos- 
sible to vary the speed of the motor 
generator set, the speed of the engine 
will have to be varied by the governor 
or throttle. Once they are in parallel 
the operation will be entirely satis- 
factory. The engine, however, will 
take a constant load depending upon 
the position of the throttle, and the 
motor generator set will take the. 
variations in load. 

Vice-Consul H. G. Baugh, of Can- 
ton, China, furnishes the names of im- 
porters of dynamos and motors, ma- 
chine tools, electrical goods, and iron 
and steel products, which are filed for 
reference at the Bureau of Manufac- 

February, 1909 



Engines and Generators in the 
Manufacture of Chocolate 

The various > plants of Walter 
Baker & Company, Ltd., at Dor- 
chester, Mass., devoted to the manu- 
facture of chocolate and cocoa 
products, are now operated electri- 
cally from a central power plant 
which is especially well suited to 
show the economies of electrical dis- 
tribution. A considerable group of 
buildings is served from the central 
plant, no one of which requires enough 
power to make it an easy matter to 
select a very economica individual 
power-plant equipment, yet, as a 
whole, requiring an output large 
enough to insure a considerable sav- 
ing in the cost of power. 

The mills comprising the Baker 
group are all large and have until 
lately been operated by separate 
steam plants and line shafting. The 
change over from several individual 
plants using line shafts to a central 
power plant transmitting electrical 
power was decided upon three years 
ago and has only quite recently been 
fully carried into effect. The small 
boiler and engine rooms of the old 
systems naturally require more atten- 
tion than the big units. The use of 
the electric motor has made the con- 
solidation possible, with all its ad- 
vantages of cheaper power, and the 

apparatus. The principle units in the 
station are two large Allis-Chalmers 
vertical cross-compound engines, each 
2.2" and 48"x48" stroke, operated at 
120 revolutions per minute and direct 
connected to 750 k. w. Allis-Chalm- 
ers' generators. There are in addi- 
tion two smaller units consisting of 
i8"x26" simple horizontal engines, 
each direct connected to Allis-Chalm- 
ers 125 k. w. alternators, operating 
at a speed of 177 revolutions per 

The electrical generators deliver 
three-phase alterating current at 600 
volts, which is transmitted directly 
to the mills for lighting and power 
use. The circuits to different mills 
have recording meters for measuring 
power consumed by each separate de- 
partment. Induction motors are used 
all through the several units now, 
there being over 100 machines, rang- 
ing from 1 to 75-horse-power, in- 
stalled. These motors are arranged 
for either individual or group drive. 

The arrangement for lighting the 
group of works buildings is quite 
elaborate. It is done on a two-wire 
system at 110 volts, the voltage being 
reduced from the power feeders by 
transformers at each mill. These 
feeders are carried to the various 
mills through a steel bridge from the 
power plant, first to the Baker mill, 
then over a bridge across the Nepon- 
set River to the Webb mill, then 
through a subway 200 feet long un- 
der Washington Street to the Pierce 
mill and the others of the group. 

problems that may arise in administer- 
ing its provisions. The level of Lake 
Michigan is not specifically mentioned, 
so that the status of the Chicago 
drainage canal is not affected. 

Canadian-Pacific Electrification 

It is reported that the Canadian- 
Pacific Railway has decided to elec- 
trify its system through the Western 
Mountains. About a year ago a com- 
mission was put in the field to investi- 
gate the available water supply be- 
tween the Rockies and the Selkirks. 
The report states that there are 
enough of water falls lying along the 
main line "to develop sufficient energy 
to run all the railways in the world." 
It is stated that many water-power 
sites have been purchased and options 
obtained on others. 

t 1 1 1 "rr,Tn ?777/7^n riTru7TTrr 

i U>/////// 


saving of friction lost in long line 

The new power station of Walter 
Baker Company stands separated 
from the mills to which it supplies 
power, in order that any of these 
units may be expanded without inter- 
ference. From the Neponset River 
an ample supply of circulating water 
is available. The engine room is sixty 
by eighty feet, while the boiler room 
has practically the same floor area. 
The material used in construction is 
brick on concrete foundations. 

The plant was designed for an ul- 
timate capacity of 2800-horse-power 
in boilers and 1750 k. w. in generating 

Niagara Power Treaty 

A treaty for the settlement of the 
points of difference between the 
United States and Canada, relating to 
the Niagara Falls and the Great 
Lakes, was recently signed by Secre- 
tary Root, and the British ambassador. 
By the terms of this treaty, it is pro- 
vided that the level of Lake Erie must 
be maintained. At Niagara, the 
United States has a right to use 20,000 
cu. ft. per second for power purposes ; 
Canada may use 36,000. This ap- 
parently fixes for some time the ulti- 
mate limit of power developments 
there. The treaty also provides for 
a commission to dispose of future 

Advertising -witH Flaming' 
Arc Lamps 

The first flame arc lamps used in 
this country were of foreign manu- 
facture. It was, however, only a 
comparatively short time after their 
introduction that the American man- 
ufacturers awoke to the realization 
that the lamp was destined to play 
an important part in decorative 
lighting. The result was that at 
the present time there are several 
American-made lamps on the mar- 
ket, all of which are widely adver- 

Although in foreign countries the 
flame arc lamp has been widely 
adopted for street illumination, its 
use in this country is confined prin- 
cipally to the illumination of store 
fronts and amusement places, such 
as theatres, parks, etc. While its 
use in connection with mercantile 
establishments is principally to at- 
tract attention, it can, at the same 
time, be used to advantage for the 
illumination of the store windows, 
thus serving a double purpose. For 
this service the lamps are suspended 
from suitable supports just above 
the top of the window. 

To the brilliant light emitted _ by 
the flame arc lamp when in operation, 
is due its advertising or attention-at- 
tracting quality. The entire globe 
seems filled with a luminous gas, and, 
although the light has the property of 
penetrating the thickest fogs or smoke, 
it is soft and not blinding to the eye 
like the enclosed arc. Carbons giving 
a yellow or orange-colored light are 
generally used, but carbons may be 
obtained that will give a light of a 
red or white color. 

The accompanying illustration 
shows the front of a department store 
in Schenectady, N. Y., lighted with 
four-flame arc lamps of a type man- 
ufactured by the General Electric 



February, 1909 

Company. This illustration was re- 
produced from a photograph taken at 
night solely by the light of the lamps, 
and, although it fails to show the 
true beauty of the illumination, gives 
an idea of how the store appears at 
night. This is only one of many 
similar installations in this city, and 
it is interesting to note that the mer- 
chants have clubbed together and 
made arrangements to have the entire 
business section lighted with G-I 
Flame Arc Lamps. The lamps will 
be spaced at equal intervals along 
both sides of the street and at the 
same height from the sidewalk. 

In this type of lamp several good 
points of construction may be noted. 

to slide past the other and cause the 
lamp to go out. Every part of the 
mechanism is accessible when the cas- 
ing is lowered. As regards efficiency, 
this type of lamp takes less power per 
unit of illumination than any other 
illuminant in commercial use. 

In designing the lamp special at- 
tention has been paid to its external 
appearance. The shell is made of 
copper or steel and finished in an- 
tique copper or bright japan. The 
globe is not held by the wire net- 
work, but is securely fastened by a 
flange and ring at the top, the net 
being retained to prevent the glass 
from falling, should the globe be 
broken. The entire length of the 

All clock mechanism is eliminated, thus 
producing a lamp of simplicity and 
one free from the troubles common 
to more complicated lamps. Instead 
of the carbons being placed one above 
the other, as in the ordinary arc 
lamps, they are placed at such an 
angle that they form a V, the arc 
forming at the lower end. All of 
the light is directed downward and 
the absence of any obstruction below 
the arc prevents shadows being 
formed. The carbons are fed in such 
a manner that flickering is prevented 
and it is impossible for one of them 

lamp is only 31 in. These lamps op- 
erate satisfactorily either in series or 
in multiple on alternating or direct- 
current circuits, and will burn any 
approved make of flame carbons now 
on the market. 

The CHicago Electrical Show 

The fourth annual Electrical Show, 
held at the Coliseum, under the 
auspices of the Electrical Trades Ex- 
position Company, was well attended 
up to the closing night, January 30. 
The Coliseum was most handsomely 

decorated. A dark-blue cloth studded 
with miniature incandescent lamps, 
imitating the appearance of the night 
sky, formed the roof. The booths 
were painted white, and as the most 
of a iobo-kw. load was used in the 
production of light, mostly by the new 
tungsten lamp, the effect was brilliant. 

Special features from time to time 
during the two weeks of the show at- 
tracted many out-of-town bodies. On 
Monday, January 18, souvenirs in the 
shape of Billikin pins were distributed, 
and on Tuesday, January 19, a special 
effort was made to render the remark- 
able United States Navy exhibit of 
particular interest to army and navy 
men. On Wednesday, January 20, the 
Chicago Electric Club listened to an 
address by Lieutenant-Commander 
Witherspoon on the use of electricity 
on the modern battleship, and on 
Thursday morning a large delegation 
from Louisville, Ky., attended the ex- 
hibit in a body. On Friday, January 
22, the members of the Northwestern 
Electrical Association were in at- 
tendance, and during the day and in 
the evening there were many gather- 
ings in connection with the meeting of 
the Chicago Section of the Illuminat- 
ing Engineering Society. Saturday, 
January 23, was designated as Stu- 
dents' Day, and Sunday was a day of 
rest, not a single exhibitor being in at- 
tendance at the Coliseum. 

On Monday, January 25, souvenirs 
were distributed, and Tuesday was 
made especially attractive for the 
telephone men. On Wednesday eve- 
ning there was a grand rejuvenation 
of the Sons of Jove. On Thursday 
evening the Thomson-Houston re- 
union was held, the addresses being 
preceded by an informal dinner early 
in the evening. 

Popular concerts were rendered by 
John C. Weber and his famous band, 
and Miss Blanche B. Mehaffey was the 
soloist this year, entertaining the visi- 
tors afternoon and evening with her 
rendition of classical and popular 

Tungsten lamps and vacuum-clean- 
ing outfits were the two specialties that 
showed the greatest increase over last 
year's show. Flaming arc lamps were 
also much in evidence. 

A list of the principal exhibitors 
was given in the January issue of The 
Electrical Age, and they were all 
there and many more. It is impossible 
to mention even in passing the in- 
numerable electrical details that were 
on exhibit. Their presence, however, 
helped to round out the show and 
make it an instructive and .successful 
exhibition. They also helped to im- 
press on the visitor the rapid increase 
of the applications of electricity to the 
home uses of the people. 

February, 1909 



A. Bit to Bore Square Holes 

The old proverb about the round 
plug in the square hole will have to be 
revised when the triangular bit for 
boring square holes is put on the 
market by the Radical Angular Drill 
Company, of New York. 

The device, which is a German in- 
vention, will bore a square hole with 
the same facility and nearly the same 
speed that an ordinary drill will bore 
round holes in the same material. 

The present methods of making 
square holes, outside of punching and 
casting, such as by boring round holes 
and then working them up to the 
shape desired, are expensive and slow. 
The only appliance needed for the use 
of this tool on such machines as lathes, 
drill-presses and milling machines is 
a special chuck. In the chuck lies the 
essence of the invention, which con- 
sists of a scheme for forcing the mo- 
tion with the drill in such directions 
as to strike out a square hole. The 
illustrations give an idea of how this 
is accomplished. 

This chuck contains three parts that 
move independently of one another. 
First, a part which screws onto the 
spindle of the drill and revolves with 
the latter; second, a stationary part 
which rides upon the part first men- 
tioned; and third, a holder into which 
the shank of the drill is screwed. 

This holder is caused to rotate with 
the part first mentioned, but is at 
liberty to move sidewise a certain dis- 
tance in any direction. Its exact mo- 
tion is determined by a guide in the 
second part of the chuck, which sur- 
rounds the shank of the drill. The 
shank of the drill is three-cornered, 
but not exactly triangular, that is, the 
three sides are convex, being formed 
by arcs of circles struck from centers 
at the opposite corners. The three- 
cornered shank just fits into the 
square guide, and as the shank turns 
about in the guide, which is held 
stationary, the three corners of the 
shank in turn enter into each of the 
four corners of the guide. At the same 
time, the three corners of the cutting 

head strike out the sides of the work. 
It should here be explained that the 
cutting edges are on the end of the 
tool, not on the side, being in this re- 
spect similar to the ordinary twist or 
flat drill. For drilling holes of differ- 
ent sizes only one chuck is required, 
the guide in the chuck being so con- 
structed that the opening can be en- 
larged and diminished by turning the 

The motion of the three-cornered 
shank of the tool within the square 
plate can be better understood 
when it is remembered that the radius 
used to strike out the three sides of 
the shank is just equal to one of the 
sides of the square formed by the 
guide. Therefore, if one side of the 
shank is rolling or sliding on one side 
of the guide, the opposite corner of 
the shank will be moving in a straight 
line corresponding to the opposite 
side of the guide, i. e., during a cer- 
tain part of the revolution the corners 
of the tool travel in straight lines, 
along the outside of the square. 

If it is desired to bore out a com- 
plete square with sharp corners, a spe- 
cial tool is used. The tools for both 
the round-cornered and sharp-cor- 
nered squares can be ground by means 
of a special attachment to the ordinary 
drill-grinding machine. 

to the engine or turbine, saving of 
cylinder oil, lessened friction and 
wear in the engine, higher efficiency 
of the super-heaters, higher efficiency 
of engines and turbines, and greater 
economy from exhaust steam feed- 

New Feed "Water Regulator 

A growing interest in devices for 
regulating automatically the feed of 
water to steam boilers, so that the in- 
flow will always be equal to the rate 
of evaporation, should insure a wide 
and careful reading of the handsome 
treatise on this subject just issued by 
the American Boiler Economy Co., 
North American Bldg., Philadelphia, 
Pa. This book describes the Copes 
Boiler Feed Regulator and takes up 
in turn the several advantages to be 
gained by automatic regulation, such 
as protection to the boiler, protection 

Fig. i 

Fig. 2 

water heaters and fuel economizers. 
The engineering considerations in re- 
gard to each of these points are 
brought out fully, bullseye charts 
from recording thermometers being 
shown, for instance, to demonstrate 
the fuel saving realized by holding the 
feed always equal to the evaporation. 
In addition there are numerous il- 
lustrations showing installations of 
Copes Regulators, also the manner of 
operation and construction of the 
regulator and of the Copes Pump 
Governor employed to insure a con- 
stant excess of pressure in the feed 
line. This appliance is especially val- 
uable in large plants where the water 
level must be maintained in a great 
number of boilers and should be of 
much interest to consulting, designing 
and managing engineers. 

The January Technical Press 

Leading Articles of General Technical Interest 


"Electric Industry in Germany," 
Waldemar Koch. 

Gives a brief history of the rise of 
the great German electrical manufac- 
turing companies, and closes with 
some figures showing that the Ger- 
mans both absolutely and relatively 
are ahead of this country in activity. 
The production per employee in the 
United States, however, is much 
larger. — Elec. Journ. 

Detail Apparatus 

"Automatic Control of Direct-Current 
Motors," D. E. Carpenter. 

Describes the latest forms of the 
detail apparatus used for the control, 
and protection of direct-current mo- 
tors. — Elec. Journ. 

"Meter and Relay Connections," 
Harold W. Brown. 

Continues the series, and gives dia- 
grams showing the various forms of 
connections for station voltmeters, 
ammeters and single and poly-phase 
wattmeters. — Elec. Journ. 

f • Electric Rail-ways 

"High-Tension Current Collection," 
Otis Allen Kenyon. 

An analysis of the results of the ex- 
perimental work carried out by the 
Swedish Electric Railway Test Com- 
mission. These results point to a 
type of collector which would consist 
of two parts, namely, a main part to 
take up the variations in the height of 
the wire, and an auxiliary part to meet 
the conditions imposed by vibrations. 
The main part would be large enough 
to take care of the current collected, 
and would be spring-supported so as 
to give constant pressure irrespective 
of the positions of the shoe. The 
auxiliary part, which should trail, 
would be light and designed to have a 
natural period of vibration such as to 
enable it to correspond with those of 
the car. — Elec. Ry. Journ. 

Generators and Motors 

"The Single-phase Commutating Mo- 
tor," B. G. Lamme. 

From a paper presented at a meet- 
ing of the Philadelphia branch of the 
American Institute of Electrical En- 
gineers. The finer points in the de- 
sign of this type of motor are dis- 
cussed. The relation of brush-resist- 
ance and the neutralizing winding to 
proper operation are pointed out, and 
the effect of the power factor is 
analyzed. The paper closes with the 
statement that within the past five 
years between 200,000 and 250,000 


h.p. of single-phase traction motors 
have been sold here and abroad, and 
prophesies a great future for them in 
heavy railway work. — Elec. Journ. 


"Rate Regulation of Electric Power," 
S. S. Wyer, M. E. 
An article on the principles of elec- 
tric power rate regulation, particu- 
larly as seen on the legal and economic 
sides. A number of court rulings are 
given and also two charts. A curve 
showing the effect on the cost of the 
customer's use of electric power is also 
given. — Cass. Mag. 

"The Economical Development of 
Toll Territory," Frank F. Fowle. 
An exhaustive study of the best 
methods of handling a telephone ter- 
ritory — runs through several numbers. 
— Elec. Rev. 

"Problem of Reducing Accident Dam- 
ages," Frederick W. Johnston. 
A series of articles setting forth the 
latest attempts to solve one of the 
most vexatious problems that con- 
front the management of large urban 
traction systems. — Elec. Ry. Journ. 


"American Hydro-electric Construc- 
tion Abroad," H. Lester Hamil- 
An illustrated account of the work 
of American electrical engineers in 
foreign lands. Among the plants dis- 
cussed are those of the Mexican 
Light & Power Company at Necaxa, 
the Sao Paulo Tramway, Light & 
Power Co., Sao Paulo, Brazil, and 
plants in Japan and India. — Cass. 

"Foreign Transportation Problems," 
E. F. Colyer. 
An illustrated description of some 
of the difficulties encountered in hand- 
ling heavy electric machinery in out 
of the way corners of the world, and 
the ingenious devices by which they 
are overcome. — Gen. Elec. Rev. 

Power Plants 

"A Recent Swedish Hydro-Electric 
Plant," P. Frenel. 

An illustrated account of a 3000 h.p. 
water-power plant at Hemsjo, in 
southern Sweden. — Elec. Wld. 

"Dalmatian Carbide Works Using 
30,000- Volt Generators." 

An illustrated article describing the 
new addition to the power plant of 
the Dalmatian Hydraulic Power Com- 
pany's at Manojlovac, on the Kerka 
River, where Ganz & Co. have in- 
stalled four 6500-kw., 420 rev. per 
min., 30,000-volt, 42-cycle, three- 

phase generators, which have been 
operating without trouble of any sort 
for nearly two years. This is by far 
the highest voltage for which gener- 
ators have yet been wound. — Elec. 

"Hampton Power Plant of the D. L. 
& W. R. R.," Warren O. Rodgers. 
An illustrated description of an up- 
t o-d ate 2500-kw. turbo-generator 
plant, which is the largest in the an- 
thracite coal region. — Pozver and Eng. 

"New Power Plant of the Carnegie 
Institute," Thomas Wilson. 
A very complete illustrated descrip- 
tion of a large isolated plant of ex- 
cellent design and unsurpassed finish. 
The plant is used for furnishing light, 
heat and power to the huge Carnegie 
Institute group of buildings at Pitts- 
burg. — Pozver and Eng. 

Prime Movers 

"The Development of the Small Steam 
Turbine," Chas. A. Howard. 

This is the sequel of an article in 
the preceding issue in which Mr. 
Howard described the various fea- 
tures of design and construction of 
the principal types of small steam tur- 
bines, in use in the United States. In 
this, the concluding article, the vari- 
ous forms of service applications 
for which the small turbine is best 
suited are pointed out. The services 
mentioned include small electric gen- 
erators, exciters for large generators, 
centrifugal pumps of all sorts, centrif- 
ugal fans and blowers and high-speed 
machinery of any type. Attention is 
called to the first cost economy and 
maintenance costs of the small 
turbine as compared with those of 
reciprocating units of like capacity. — 
Eng. Mag. 


"Alternating Currents and Their Ap- 
plication," Edson R. Wolcott. 

A serial continuing through the 
month, gives an illustrated description 
of induction and repulsion motors and 
transformers. — Elec. Rev. 
"Influence of Frequency on the 
Equivalent Circuits of Alter- 
nating Current Transmission 
Lines," A. E. Kennelly. • 
A study of the various methods of 
determining the effects of the fre- 
quency on the values of the several 
characteristics of an alternating-cur- 
rent circuit. — Elec. Wld. 
"The Energy of Steam," J. W. Kirk- 
The second of a series of practical 
articles on the energy of steam, and 
the various devices for its conversion 
into useful work. — Gen. Elec. Rev. 


Volume XL. Number 3. 

$1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy 

New York, March, 1 909 

The Electrical Age Co. 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH. Pres. C. A. HOPE, Sec. andTreas. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connect'ng all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, SI. Of). 

Canada. $1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


insertion of new advertise ments or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the fo. lowing issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 



Preliminary Reports on Electrical Industries. 53 

Western Representation in the A. I. E, E... 54 

The Unit Cost 54 

The Sovereignty of Water-Power 55 

The Patent Court 56 


Transformation Wrinkles 57 

Comparative Cost of Power Production 63 

Notes on Switchboard Instruments 65 

Preliminary Reports on Electrical 

The preliminary reports of the 
United States Census Bureau for 1907 
on "Central Stations" and "Electric 
Railroads" contained some interesting 
statistics of the condition of these 
branches of electrical industry at the 
end of 1907, as compared with 1902. 

An analysis of these reports shows 
clearly the prevailing tendency of the 
last five years.. In the central station 
reports, which for purposes of com- 
parison are tabulated with the report 
of 1902, is indicated the steady and 
solid growth during this period. It 
shows 4714 establishments as com- 
pared_ with 3620 at the end of 1902. 
This is an increase of 30%. 1252 of 
these plants are municipal, the in- 
crease of this class of plants being 
53.6%. The tendency to consolidate 
plants is noticeable in this branch, but 
somewhat less so than in the traction 

The effect of the campaign for a 
power load shows in the statement that 
while the companies' income from 

lighting increased 76.6%, the increase 
of income from other electrical sources 
was 217.2% ; in other words in 1902, 
the proportion of income from power 
service to the total income from elec- 
trical services was 16.7% ; in 1907 it 
was 25.4%. The horse-power of mo- 
tors connected with the circuits of the 
companies increased from 438,005 in 
1902 to 1,649,026 in 1907, being an 
increase of 276.5%. 

Another notable feature is the in- 
crease in water-power plant capacity, 
which was over 207% in the five years, 
while the capacity of steam and gas- 
driven plants increased but 92.8%. 

The rapid increase in the growth of 
electrical traction is illustrated in the 
report on electric railroads. It shows 
1236 companies as compared with 987 
at the end of 1902, an increase of 25%. 
The total number of cars was 83,641, 
of which 70,016 were passenger cars. 
The number of passenger cars in- 
creased by 16%. The number of 
freight cars more than doubled. The 
total mileage of main lines was 25,547 
as compared with 16,651 in 1902; an 
increase of 53.4%. 

The passengers carried in 1907 
numbered 9,533,080,766, which is an 
increase of 63%- for the five years. 

The fact that the total output of 
stations now amounting to about four 
and three-quarter billion kw-hr. has 
increased by 110%, while the number 
of power-plants only by 22 or 27%, 
shows that these companies also are 
finding other uses for their power than 
merely the hauling of passengers and 
really is a measure of the absorption 
of the light and power companies by 
the traction interests. 

■ The total income from all plants is 
more than double for an increase of 
less than 100% in plant costs. This 
is, of course, due partly to the econ- 
omies resulting from the replacement 
of several small plants by one large 
one and to the improved load factors 
obtained, as well as to the late im- 
provements in power plant machinery 
and in the management of electric 

It is also to be noted that while 
steam and gas-driven plants furnish- 
ing power for railroad uses have in- 
creased 83.4%, water-power plant 
capacity has increased 86.5%, which 
fact, taken in connection with the 

above-mentioned increase of over 
200% in water-power plants for cen- 
tral station service, emphasizes the im- 
portance of the question of the control 
of this source of energy which was 
recently raised by President Roose- 
velt and was touched on in the last 
issue of the Electrical Age. 

The total gross income of the trac- 
tion companies was $429,744,254, an 
increase of 71.6%, but the net income 
of $40,340,286 represents an incre- 
ment of but 31.8%, which tends to 
confirm the impression that electric 
railroad service cannot be materially 
cheapened under present conditions. 

The income and expense statistics 
for the central stations are not com- 
plete enough to make a close compari- 
son. Probably with the final report a 
complete analysis will be rendered. 

From the data submitted the ques- 
tion as to the relative rapidity of 
growth of the two branches is not 
easily determined, but from other evi- 
dence it appears that the traction in- 
terests are larger, and that they fre- 
quently obtain their growth by absorb- 
ing the lighting industry of their ter- 

Edwin Reynolds 

On another page of the issue is 
given a sketch of the career of Edwin 
Reynolds, in whose death the engin- 
eering world loses one of its masters. 
Although connected directly with the 
development of the steam engine, so 
allied is this with the changes that 
have taken place in the generator, that 
the electric industry, scarcely less than 
the steam engine builder's, is indebted 
to his genius. For this reason it is 
not unfitting that the debt be acknowl- 
edged in these pages. 

Perhaps the most conspicuous of the 
services rendered to the electrical 
world by Mr. Reynolds was the design 
of the great 12,000 horse-power engine 
for the power plants of the traction 
companies of New York. 

The brilliancy and value of this feat 
are in no wise lessened by the fact that 
with the advent of the high-speed 
turbo generator, it is unlikely that any 
such machines will ever be built again. 
They will run for many years to come 
as a not unworthy monument of what 
the men of the early days of the elec- 
trical age could produce. 




March, 1909 

Western Representation in the 
A. I. E. E. Management 

For some time there has been a 
feeling in certain sections of the 
country that the western membership 
has not been represented on the gov- 
erning body of the American Institute 
of Electrical Engineers to an extent 
proportional to its numerical import- 

The custom has grown up that the 
highest honors of the Institute are as 
a rule to be the reward of faithful 
service on its board of managers. 
While, for very good reasons, this has 
not always been the case, the excep- 
tions have been just about frequent 
enough to prove the rule. This being 
the case, the constitution of the board 
of managers becomes of special inter- 

A glance at the list of 12 managers 
shows that none comes from the Pa- 
cific Coast, none from the trans-Mis- 
sissippi country and only one from the 
States lying west of the Pittsburgh 
meridian. The geographical distribu- 
tion of membership in the West is 
somewhat as follows : 

and members, has one manager, when 
it should have two, and two directors 
when it should have eight. 

For some years past each of these 
three sections has been entitled to a 
representative on the directing body, 
but there has been no more than three 
so far from the trans-Mississippi 


On the theory that half a loaf is bet- 
ter than no bread, the portionless folk 
of the far western and coast regions 
are worse off than their under or 
half-represented brothers in the mid- 
dle west. 

The selection of managers accord- 
ing to geographical distribution of the 
membership is an attractive plan, but 
there are many reasons which have 
often been cited against it, and some 
of them have real weight. It has often 
been urged that it is impossible for 
managers from the far West to attend 
the monthly meetings of the board, 
which is a detriment to the latter's 
efficiency. It is true that an enormous 
distance separates them from the 
center of mass of the electrical fra- 
ternity. On the other hand, it must 






West of Rocky Mountains 

Between the Rockies and 
the River 

West of Pittsburgh 



North Dakota 

South Dakota 
























New Mexico 














Total Members 




Percent of Total 




Proportional number of 




It is a general custom, founded on 
the love of equality (so dear to the 
American mind), that all parts of an 
organization shall have an adequate 
representation in its government. 

Reckoning representation on this 
basis, of the three great sections indi- 
cated, the Pacific Coast taken as all 
the States lying west of the conti- 
nental divide should have one man- 
ager and two directors, and the coun- 
try between the mountains and the 
river is also entitled to the same num- 

This huge section with over a 
thousand members, though entitled to 
two managers, has none. 

The great and rich section lying be- 
tween the Mississippi and the Pitts- 
burgh meridian, with nearly a thous- 

be granted that managers from the 
far West can occasionally attend, and 
even when absent can communicate 
their wishes to the attending members. 
The important thing is not so much to 
have a physical body present at the 
meeting as to have a thinking brain in 
the West in close touch with the mem- 
bership in that section. If the geo- 
graphical center of membership of the 
Institute shall ever move to the Middle 
West, we predict, in the full realization 
that prophecy is dangerous, that the 
meeting of the board will be held in 
Chicago or St. Louis. 

It is sometimes said that a number 
of the managers represent large com- 
mercial interests which are national in 
their scope, and that therefore these 
members of the board represent more 

truly by reason of this fact. But we 
hardly believe that there is any gen- 
eral acceptance of this theory. There 
is no reality in it, and it is absolutely 
opposed to the spirit of the organiza- 
tion of the Institute, which is essen- 
tially democratic in character. 

The western members will be able 
to get their share of representation by 
a little active teamwork on their own 
account. The constitution of the In- 
stitute is a model of clearness and 
careful provision has been made in it 
to enable any representative group to 
get together and put up their man. 
After that, all that is necessary is for 
uniform action among the members in 
the region interested. The obstacle 
to this has been the vast distances of 
the western cities from each other 
and the intense life, centering in each 
community. Immersed in their own 
affair, it has been simply another case 
of no one to take the first step. In 
this connection it is curious to note 
that the same indifference to the de- 
tails of the government seen in larger 
and less intelligent bodies, is in evi- 
dence in the Institute. Less than one 
member in twenty takes the trouble to 
cast a nominating vote. The entire 
electing vote is less than the combined 
membership of the two smallest 
groups tabulated above. Under the 
present conditions, if these members 
were to act all together, they could 
elect the entire management. 

The time for the annual election of 
officers is drawing close, and it is 
hoped -that this matter will not be lost 
sight of. In connection with the de- 
sire that our brilliant confraternity on 
the unrepresented coast may "come 
into its own," we note with pleasure a 
movement for nominating to office 
one of the ablest of Californian engi- 
neers. The name and fame of this 
gentleman are too well known to need 
mention here. His interest in the In- 
stitute and his work as Chairman of 
the San Francisco section has been of 
the sort that enable us to congratulate 
the official body on the prospect of his 

We bespeak for him a hearty sup- 
port from those who believe that jus- 
tice and equity demand a better repre- 
sentation of their fellow-members 
around on the sunset side of the con- 

The Unit Cost 

In an engineering undertaking the 
unit of cost is the bridge, or bond, ">f 
union between the physical and finan- 
cial wings of the structure. All of 
the fore and aft figuring starts from, 
and harks back to the unit of output 
whether the sum is a static quantity 
such as a ton of finished steel or a 
dynamic quantity such as a kilowatt- 

March, 1909 



In recent years, when the science of 
cost-keeping has been brought to a 
point of refinement and accuracy un- 
dreamed of 25 years ago, when by im- 
proved record and filing systems, the 
innumerable component costs that 
make up the total of any complex . 
piece of modern machinery, such as a 
turbo-generator, for example, are all 
kept with unerring accuracy and are 
available for reference at a moment's 
notice, publication of cost data has 
come very much to the center of the 
view. Modern standard works and the 
files of the engineering and trade 
journals bristle with long columns of 
cost figures of every conceivable fac- 
tor that enters into the subject un- 
der discussion. Even books for use in 
the schoolrooms and laboratories show 
that the importance of the financial 
element is now grasped by those who 
devote their energies to this field, and 
they give an amount of cost data un- 
known and unthought of ten years 

Withal, it is to be noted that there 
is yet much looseness in the way costs, 
and especially unit costs, are handled. 
Animated discussions arise on the 
"cost per kilowatt-hour" of the output 
of a given plant, without the sign of 
a qualification as to the kind of cost 
referred to. Moreover, references to 
the total cost of unit are often made 
in a misleading way. It is especially 
apt to occur in the analysis of the ex- 
penses of a plant, and unless properly 
checked may lead to unexpected re- 
sults. A case in point follows : A 
leading commercial concern, operating 
an isolated plant of about 1500 boiler 
h.p. capacity within 50 miles of New 
York, received cost figures on the op- 
eration of its plant for a certain month 
and they looked somewhat like this : 

Salaries $350 

Wages 2,125 

Coal 4,372 

Water 705 

Oil and Waste 27 

Supplies 41 

Repairs 110 

Interest 530 

Insurance and Taxes 63 

Depreciation 247 

Total $8,570 

Total output in Kilowatts, 357,000. 
Total cost per kilowatt, 2.4 cents. 

The owners did not feel particu- 
larly well pleased with these results. 
They were aware that John Jones, 
who operated a similar plant not far 
off, was getting his power for a sim- 
ilar total cost of two cents per kilo- 
watt-hour, and they wanted to at 
least approximate that performance in 
their own plant. 

Accordingly after months of hesi- 
tancy and inquiry, a consulting oper- 
ating engineer was called in to under- 
take the reorganization of the running 
of the plant. The consulting operating 
engineer immediately got very busy. 
His course of action was along two 

general lines. He sought first to 
diminish the cost of power produc- 
tion; second, to decrease the waste in 
power consumption. Starting in the 
boiler-room, he first cut the length of 
the working day by 25 per cent., and 
introduced a careful system of record- 
ing coal, water and supplies. He 
coached the firemen in the best method 
of firing and making a good showing 
in the records. He awakened a spirit 
of emulation and intelligent pride in 
the work. He saw to it that the boil- 
ers were kept clean and tight, and that 
the setting was in good shape. 

In the engine-room and throughout 
the plant he went after the leaks and 
loads. Indicator diagrams were taken, 
valves were reset where necessary, 
and all leaks seen and unseen in the 
system were stopped as far as possible. 
The load factor of the different ma- 
chines was looked after and brought 
up to the highest possible value. Im- 
proved types of lamp and other ap- 
paratus were adopted where possible. 
Waste in supplies and repair material 
was eliminated, and everyone's inter- 
est in his share of the work was quick- 

By means of these and other meas- 
ures that need not be here set forth in 
detail, he actually succeeded in cutting 
down the kilowatt-hours used per 
month from 357,000 to 253,000, a 
reduction of nearly 30 per cent., and 
also reduced the total steam consump- 
tion per kilowatt-hour from 37 lb. to 
about 30. After several months of 
missionary work, the consulting oper- 
ating engineer thought he was ready 
for a show-down. By this time a com- 
plete year had gone around, and the 
table for the same month whose fig- 
ures were given above was duly pre- 
pared and is given : 

Salaries $350 

Wages 2,125 

Coal 3,338 

Water ' 418 

Oil and Waste 19 

Supplies 37 

Repairs 183 

Interest 530 

Insurance and Taxes 63 

Depreciation 247 

< Total $7,310 

Total output in kilowatts hours, 253,000. 
Total cost per kilowatt hour, 2 . 88 cents. 

The first thing that struck the man- 
agement was that the unit of cost was 
greater than before by .48 of a cent, 
an increase of 20 per cent. The ele- 
ments of the combined costs in the two 
cases compared as follows : 

Total operating cost, exclusive 

of wages and salaries $5,255 $3,995 

Total operating cost 7,730 6,470 

Total of fixed charges 840 840 

Total operating costs per kilo- 
watt hour, cents 2.16 2.66 

Total cost per kilowatt hour 2.4 2 . 88 

In this instance it is to be noted that 
although the length of the working 
day was cut from 12 to 9 hours, the 
total paid out in wages remained the 

same. This was achieved by improv- 
ing the efficiency of the better men and 
displacing the inferior. 

As the total of a bill is the point 
that fixes the owner's attention, and 
the net decrease in the total amount 
of money paid out for the month was 
$1260, a reduction on the operating 
costs of over 16 per cent., there was 
no disposition to find fault with the 
fact that the cost per unit of output 
was raised as noted above. 

The gist of the matter is that the 
plant is underloaded and that the re- 
duction of waste in the use of power 
was of greater relative weight than 
the economies effected in the cost of 
its production. 

The Sovereignty of "Water 


Since the early days of human 
society the life of the community has 
centered about the fountains and 
streams. By the shores of the great 
rivers in the milder climates of Asia 
and Africa the first great civilizations 
grew to maturity, and in the course of 
time came to fix and establish law. 

Among the first laws of which 
knowledge has come down to our 
times are those regulating the rights 
of the State to its waters, and we be- 
lieve it to be the fact that throughout 
the entire world these rights are of 
substantially the same nature. The 
control of all navigable rivers and 
lakes is vested in the central govern- 
ment, that of the lesser streams and 
water courses in the local authorities. 
Under the oldest forms of Latin law 
all running waters are under govern- 
ment control, but the idea in the North 
of Europe was that the local communi- 
ty should control its own waters, sub- 
ject, of course, to the right of the gen- 
eral government. 

In the United States the law states 
that Congress shall exercise constitu- 
tional control over all navigable waters, 
and the question as to the navigability 
rests with Congress. In Mexico the 
Latin custom prevails, and there is no 
need to determine navigability. 

Water legislation in the various 
States forming the Union has been as 
profuse and often as footless as on 
many other subjects. The defilement 
of our fair streams by the criminal al- 
liance of carelessness and greed that 
has led to so much of the national 
waste is not the least of our sins 
against our fatherland. Too long have 
the misusage and neglect of the pub- 
lic been scarcely less injurious to the 
actual streams than to their fountain- 

It is with great satisfaction that we 
have noted the stirrings of public con- 
science in this matter. Though slow, 
the arousing from the stupor and in- 



March, 1909 

ertia of neglect is none the less real, 
and will go on. Evidences of its move- 
ment are showing on every hand. 

Last month a bill was introduced 
into the Legislature of New York 
State which proposes a constitutional 
amendment to be known as Section 
7 A of Article 7 of the Constitution of 
the State of New York. 

The new amendment reads as fol- 
lows : 

"The people of this State in their 
right of sovereignty do possess the 
original and ultimate property of the 
waters in and about all rivers, lakes, 
streams and tributaries within the State 
of New York, and it shall remain the 
property of the State and under its 
management forever. 

"§2. The State shall not lease or 
otherwise dispose of the waters of any 
river, lake, stream or tributary for 
water power for a period of more 
than ten years, except that the State 
may lease, contract or otherwise dis- 
pose of the waters of the rivers, lakes, 
streams and tributaries for the pur- 
pose of supplying water to the in- 
habitants of State of New York." 

There is no doubt that the public 
of to-day is at last awake to its in- 
terest in the vital matter of the con- 
trol, preservation and restoration of 
the forests. This State to-day controls 
nearly a million and three-quarters 
acres of public forest land. Other 
States have acquired, and are acquir- 
ing, like imposing holdings. The work 
of the government in this line is well- 
known. Now we take it that the 
forest control and water control are 
very closely related. The relation is 
really about that of the late lamented 
Siamese twins. The conservation and 
restoration of our shrunken rivers will 
proceed with and from the reforest- 
ing of the hills that rise about the 
fountain-heads. The great commercial 
interests themselves, who, ten years 
ago, were in the front of the riot of 
waste have learned by actual experi- 
ence its cost and ultimate ruin. The 
iron bond of self-interest will tie them 
henceforth to the wheel of progress. 
We look to their earnest and powerful 
co-operation in the work that lies 

Long ago the nations of central and 
southern Asia and the south of Europe 
took their tolls from the coming gen- 
eration. To the operation of the great 
law anent "the sins of the fathers" may 
be traced many of the conditions that 
make the deplorable plight of those 
lands as we see them to-day. The wis- 
dom of much time has attempted to 
forecast the future by stating that 
"history repeats itself." Will it do so 
in this land and time? 

We believe not. Men are alive to- 
day as never before. In the matter of 
water-power only — a minor one as 

compared with the other stupendous 
effects of the rainfall on a country's 
well-being— they know that with care 
that power will suffice for ages to 
come. Theoretically the flowing wa- 
ters of the earth aggregate eight tril- 
lions, or 143 h.p. per square mile and 
five per inhabitant. Utilizable of this 
are at least five hundred billions or an 
average of nine per square mile. The 
value of this resource to the world — 
and that of our own land is above the 
average — will insure its guardianship. 
To the engineering professions the 
world will look for its guidance in the 
preservation of its heritage. As to 
how they will fulfil the tremendous 
trust no one who knows them has 

The Patent Co\irt 

In the news dispatches for the cur- 
rent month is a brief notice to the ef- 
fect that the committee powers at 
Washington have reported favorably 
on the plan to establish a Patent Court. 

Some time ago, after a protracted 
campaign against the limitations of the 
present long out-worn system of 
handling patent cases, the American 
Bar Association was induced to take 
up the grievance. The Association 
drew up a bill providing for a court 
consisting of five judges, to sit perma- 
nently at Washington and try all pat- 
ent cases. 

With the enormous expansion of 
business of the last fifteen years, the 
situation in the Patent Office had be- 
come so strained that even Congress 
at last had to act. Of the more than 
900,000 patents issued up to date over 
half have been issued since 1895. In 
other words, the office has been called 
on to do as much work in fifteen years 
as in all its previous history. More- 
over, the salaries of the employes 
were way behind the modern scale. 
Some of them, it is said, had not been 
increased for 60 years. The repeated 
appeals for relief which formed the 
bulk of the reports of the Commission- 
er of Patents at last were heeded and 
recently the force in the office was 
greatly enlarged, salaries raised to a 
level more in keeping with the import- 
ance of the work done and the space 
at the disposal of the bureau increased. 

The improvements form but a small 
part of what must be done before the 
"patent industry," if it may so be 
termed, is placed on an equitable and 
efficient basis. The hardship and in- 
justice wrought by congestion and 
delay in the office is almost infinitesi- 
mal beside what has been taking place 

The evolution of patent law has fol- 
lowed that of the other branches. Un- 
der the effects of the prevailing sys- 
tem the result of the work of a hun- 
dred years of patent granting and pat- 

ent litigation has been to weave an 
elaborate chain of procedure whose 
unintentional effect has been to 
strangle the chances of the inventor. 

The government reports tell us that 
the average male citizen of the United 
vStates is in possession of an income of 
between eight and nine hundred dol- 
lars a year. 

This being the case, what are his 
prospects under the present methods 
of conducting this class of litigation? 
The weary string of trials, running 
from court to court, wear out his for- 
tune and patience. A rich corpora- 
tion, if unprincipled, or a crafy patent 
shyster can rob him of all the benefits 
of the invention simply by "lawing 
him down." 

Instances of this process are so well 
known that almost all of us can recall 
several. In the electrical field suffice 
it to mention such classic cases as the 
Tesla induction motor patents which 
were afflicted with chronic litigation 
until they expired. The Stanley trans- 
former patents and those of the Van 
Depoele underrunning trolley are also 
in point. So widespread has the dis- 
ease become that there are many ob- 
servers who think that it is deliber- 
ately bred and spread by the highly 
organized and astute body of gentle- 
men whose incomes its prevalence 
enormously increases. 

At all stages of the process the pat- 
ent case is a stranger within the gates 
of the temple of justice. Before each 
Federal Judge the patent cases form 
but a small portion of the total. Sand- 
wiched between postoffice robberies 
and applications for receivership 
comes the highly complicated technical 
patent dispute to receive justice. The 
result is usually a strain on judge and 
justice alike. 

Modern technical conditions have 
reached a stage where the brain of 
one man can no longer compass their 
tremendous scope. The technical 
judge, learned alike in the patent law 
and the many branches of industrial 
science, is as certain to evolve as was 
the specialist. 

The industries based on patent 
rights are worth many millions. The 
patent office itself takes in $2,000,000 
a year in round numbers. It is high 
time that its dignity and value receive 
their full recognition. The creation of 
a patent court is a step already too 
long delayed. An authoritative and 
final tribunal sitting, first and last, 
on all patent cases will mean swift 
and, let us hope, sure justice alike to 
the inventor possessed of small means 
and to the corporation with its mil- 
lions. Its establishment, affecting as 
it does a field of action whose inten- 
sity is distinctively and peculiarly of 
our country, will be heartily welcomed 
by the whole American people. 

Transformation Wrinkles 


Commonwealth Edison Co., Chicago 

THE use of various distributing 
primary and secondary voltages, 
single, two and three-phase sys- 
tems, gives rise to situations which 
require the distribution engineer to 
resort to various unusual devices to 
fit these together with standard ap- 

A breakdown in an industrial plant 
may make it necessary to get quick 
action in furnishing power from the 
central-station system. The ability to 
make such connections promptly may 
be a factor in impressing the indus- 
trial concern with the advantages of 
drawing its supply from the distrib- 
uting system permanently. Or condi- 
tions may arise when it becomes desir- 
able to be able to render service to a 
consumer who has been securing his 
services from a competitor on a dif- 
ferent system. 

Such situations cannot always be 
easily met, since a change from the 
direct to alternating current or other 
conditions which necessitate a change 
in motors involves an expense which 
is likely to be prohibitive. 

However, there are situations which 
can be met with comparative ease by 
the use of standard apparatus, which 
should be sufficiently familiar to the 
engineer to enable him to turn readily 
to his data book to get the necessary 
details as to connections, voltages, 
capacities of transformers and such 
information as he is in urgent need of. 
Some of the combinations and devices 
which are most likely to arise, as well 
as others which are unusual are, there- 
fore, presented herewith. 

The connections of standard line 
tiansformers are shown in Figure 
I (a) and i(&) for convenient refer- 
ence. Such transformers are made 
with two primary and two secondary 
coils. This permits their use on 2200- 
volt circuits, as shown in Fig. i(a) or 
noo-volt circuits as shown in i(b). 
Similarly the secondary may be con- 
nected for no volts to supply lighting 
or power on the two-wire system, as 
in 1 (a) or for lighting or power on 
the three-wire Edison system at 110- 
220 volts, as in Fig. i(b). 

Systems operating at approximately 
2080 volts sometimes use a standard 
transformer having windings for 
1040-2080 to 115-230 volts. Such 
transformers are commonly called 9 
to 1 in distinguishing them from 
1040-2080 to 104/208, which are 

known as having a ratio of transfor- 
mation of 10 to 1. 

The primary connections are 
changed from 2200 to 1100 by means 
of a connection block inside the trans- 
former case. The terminals of the 
secondary coils are brought outside 

blocks are not used because of the 
large current carrying capacity re- 
quired on the secondary side. 

The connections for three-phase, 
three-wire and four-wire systems are 
shown in Figs. i(c) and (d). A 
simple way to remember the three- 





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r _ — _ | 




^ r : 





L±„ 2_ 

_. _l 




1 ! 

v 1 ; v 

1 1 






__ ^^ 

'""""- ' 



U — // 


■- XX. 


o\ : =» 


Sr 2200V -5 

t 20BO* 

U 1 1 






'- 7. 


2 v -^ 


the case in such proximity that they 
are readily put in parallel by joining 
the adjacent terminals as in i(a). 
Likewise for 220-volt operation the 
two middle terminals are connected 
together thus forming the neutral of 
the three-wire system. Connection 

wire connection is to bear in mind that 
when all the transformers are con- 
nected in series in a closed circuit, a 
tap is made from each phase wire to 
the common point between each pair 
of transformers. This is the well- 
known "delta" connection, so called 




March, 1909 

because the triangle .by which it is 
represented resembles the Greek letter 

The connection in Fig. I (d) is 
easily recalled by bearing in mind that 
all right-hand terminals go to the 
phase wires while all left-hand ter- 
minals go to the neutral or vice versa. 






This connection is called the "Y" or 
"star" connection because of its re- 
semblance to these forms when repre- 
sented in a polar diagram. 

The secondary connection may be 
made either delta or Y in either sys- 
tem. The Y connection gives 1.73 
times the voltage of the delta and is 
therefore a useful device to resort to 
in giving 400-volt service from 230- 
volt transformers on a three-phase 
system. It may be taken advantage of 
in many other ways since it only re- 
quires the use of about 15 per cent, 
additional pressure to make a ratio of 
2 to 1. 

In combining transmission systems 
it is often possible to use existing 
transformers by merely changing from 
delta to Y connection, or vice versa. 

Where it is necessary to raise or 
lower pressure by a fixed percentage, 
as is necessary when transformer 
ratios are not quite right, this may be 
accomplished by a transformer used 
on a booster ; that is, a transformer so 
connected that the primary main line 
is in series with its secondary. This 
raises the primary pressure by the 
amount of the secondary voltage, thus 
boosting the pressure of the circuit, as 
shown in Fig. 2. 

For instance, on a long, single- 
phase, 2080-volt lighting branch which 

has so much load that the pressure 
drops more than the normal regulation 
of the feeder will care for, a no-volt 
transformer inserted in the line as a 
booster will raise the primary pressure 
no volts. This raises the secondary 
pressure on all the transformers 5.5 
volts. In the case of the 440-volt 
service supplied by star-connected 
230-volt transformers a 10 per cent, 
booster in each phase raises the nor- 
mal pressure of 230-400 volts to 253- 
440 volts. 

Various other applications of the 
booster arise in every large distribut- 
ing system, some of which are in- 
cluded in certain special cases consid- 
ered hereinafter. 

With the secondary connected in the 
reverse order the transformer becomes 
a choke, depressing the line pressure 
instead of raising it. This is a useful 
device in some schemes of connection, 
where a little less pressure is desired. 

The proper connection of the sec- 
ondary for booster or choke must usu- 
ally be determined by trial for any 
given type of transformer, but once 
determined any transformer of the 
same type may be connected in a sim- 
ilar manner. The connections of Fig. 
2 are those for the transformers of the 
principal makers. 

The connections for a simple 
booster are shown in Fig. 2(0), the 
line pressure being raised from 2080 
to 2184 volts, or five per cent. The 
connection of 2(b) is that for an aug- 
mented booster, in which the line 
pressure is raised from 2080 to 2190, 
because the primary of the booster is 
connected across the line on the far 
side, and the booster is boosted, as 
well as the line. This gives an in- 
crease of 5.5 per cent, in the line pres- 

Fig. 2(c) shows a 10% simple 
booster and 2 (d) an augmented 11.1% 

The corresponding connections for 
a 5% choke are shown in Fig. 3(a), a 
4-75% choke in 3(b), a 10% choke 
in 3(c) and a 19.1% choke in 3(d). 

It should be noted that the trans- 
formers used in these illustrations 
have an interchangeable 10 or 20 to 1 
ratio of transformation, and that these 
percentages apply only to boosters 
having this ratio of transformation. 
If boosters having a ratio of 2080 to 
115-230 are used the percentages are 
increased about 10%. Figure 2(a) 
becomes 5.5%, 2(b) 6.05%, 2(c) 
n. 1% and 2(d) 12.2%. Similarly 
the chokes in 3(a) would be 5.5%, 
3(b) 5.24%, 3(c) 11% and 3(d) 

There are certain precautions which 
should be observed in the installation 
of boosters to protect them from in- 
jury. The booster secondary is in 
series with the line and current is 

drawn through its primary winding in 
proportion to the load on the line. If 
the primary of the booster is opened 
while the secondary is carrying the 
line current the magnetization of the 
transformer is greatly increased and 
the booster acts as a choke coil in the 
main circuit. This causes a large drop 
of pressure in the booster, imposing 
upon its secondary winding a differ- 
ence of potential of several hundred 
volts. The primary coils likewise gen- 
erate a pressure 10 or 20 times that in 
the secondary, and the insulation of a 
2000- volt transformer is subjected to 
a potential of 10,000 to 20,000 volts or 
more, depending upon the load carried 
by the main circuit at the time. 

In case it is attempted to use a fuse 
in the primary, the blowing of the fuse 
creates this condition and the arc holds 
across the terminals of the fuse block 
until it burns itself clear. It has often 
been observed that where boosters 
have been "protected" by fuses in this 
way, the transformer has burned out 
shortly after the blowing of its prim- 
ary fuses if not at the time. 




— 1 







, 1 

... L 

















_ _ 

■ s. 

1* r~ 





The preferable manner of connect- 
ing or disconnecting a booster is to 
open the main line before putting it in 
or out of circuit. This is sometimes 
undesirable, however, and if the serv- 
ice on the line cannot be interrupted, 
or if it is desired to switch the booster 

March, 1909 



in or out at certain times, this may be 
accomplished by the use of a series 
arc cutout, connected as shown in Fig. 


The operation of the cutout simul- 
taneously opens the primary and short 
circuits the secondary of the booster. 
The switch must be of a type having 
a positive action, so tha*- arcing will 
not damage its contacts at the mo- 
ment the secondary is short-circuited. 
The arc cutout must have sufficient 
carrying capacity to carry ihe main 
line current when the booster is 
shunted out and standard series arc 
cutouts should not be used where the 
line current is likely to be over 20 to 
25 amperes. 

When the augmented booster is used 
the terminal of the primary winding 
of the transformer which goes to the 
cutout should be connected to that 
terminal of the cutout which is shown 
as not being in use in Fig. 4. 

The connections for boosters in a 
two-phase system are similar to those 
shown in Figs. 1 and 2 for the single- 
phase system. Where three-wire two- 
phase feeders are used the boosters are 
looped into the outer wires and the 
pressure is taken from the common 

The use of boosters in a delta-con- 
nected three-phase system is not so 
simple as is the single-phase applica- 
tion. The booster is looped into the 
line wire and pressure is taken for its 
primary coil from an adjoining phase 
wire, as jn Fig. 5(a). The insertion 
in the line of the booster voltage, how- 
ever, affects two phases as shown dia- 
grammatically in 5(6), which illus- 
trates the effect of a ten to one booster 
put into the "C" phase only. When 
boosting, the pressure from A to C is 
raised no volts, while B to C is raised 
208 volts, the pressure coil of the 
booster being connected from B to C. 

The effect of a booster in each phase 
is seen in Fig. 5(c) in the larger dotted 
triangle, and the small triangle in the 
same figure shows the effect of a 
choke in each phase. 

The boosting or choking effect 
when various booster transformer 
ratios are used in one, two or three 
phases are expressed in percentages 







of the primary voltage in the follow- 
ing table : 

of standard transformers. The con- 
nections in Fig. 6(a) are those for the 
use of two-wire, no-volt distribution 
on a 220-volt system, the load being 
assumed at 20 amperes. The distribu- 
tion of current in the windings is in- 
dicated by the figures and arrow heads. 
It will be seen that the transformer 
capacity required is equal to the load 
when a standard transformer is used. 

When the lighting is distributed on 
the three-wire no-220-volt system, 
the transformer carries only the un- 
balance of current in the two sides of 
the system, as shown in Fig. 6(b). In 
this case the unbalance is five amperes. 
The transformer carries 2j4 amperes 
at 220 volts, and need be only large 
enough to carry the largest unbalance 
which is likely to occur. The primary 
winding is left open and is not used. 

In a 440- volt plant where no- volt 
lighting is desired it may be secured 
from standard transformers, as in Fig. 
7. This requires the use of two trans- 
formers in series on the 220-volt side 
and in parallel on the primary side. 
It is important that the primaries be 
in parallel, as the other transformer 
will act as a choke to the lighting cur- 
rent which must pass through it if 
they are left open as in the 220-volt 

The lighting distribution in a 440- 
volt system is preferably accomplished 
by the three-wire no-220-volt system 
as this requires transformers of ca- 
pacity equal to the load, while two- 
wire no-volt distribution requires 
that the transformer on the side on 
which the lights are connected have a 
capacity of 1.5 times the load, while 
the other one must carry half the load, 
making the total capacity twice the 

It would be possible, of course, to 
run a five-wire system or two three- 
wire systems and so reduce the trans- 



10 to 1 

20 to 1 

9 to 1 

18 to 1 




C A 

A B 


C A 

A B 



BC | CA 




5 | 






A and B 



5 3 

7.65 5 








A, B and C 


15.3 Il5.3 






















A and B 





5 | 2.3 







A B and C 















The introduction of no-volt tung- 
sten or other high efficiency lamps 
into a 220 or 440- volt system in an 
industrial or other large plant may be 
accomplished quite readily by the use 

former capacity to that of the unbal- 
anced load, but this would not often 
justify the increased complication of 
the wiring which would be occasioned 
by such an arrangement. 



March, 1909 

Combinations may be made on the 
primary side of standard transformers 
in a manner similar to those above 
outlined for the purpose of securing 





The only transformers available for 
the purpose were six 50-kw. core type 
transformers, with primary coils 
wound for 1040 or 2080, and second- 
ary for 115 or 230 volts. By connect- 
ing these transformers for 1040 volts 
on the primary and putting two in 
series from each phase to neutral with 













J-S~ £?/r> 








Fig. 6. — IIO VOLTS FROM 220 

intermediate or higher voltages from 
the supply system. 1040, 2600 or 3120 
volts can be gotten from a 2080-volt 
system by the use of two transformers 
in series on the primary and in mul- 
tiple on the secondary. These con- 
nections are shown in Fig. 8(a), (b) 
and (c) respectively. 

Various other combinations are pos- 
sible by the use of more than two 
transformers, by which higher pri- 
mary or lower secondary and other 
intermediate voltages may be derived. 

secondaries in parallel, it was possible 
to tap the motor circuit off at half the 
line pressure. The line pressure being 
but 3740, the additional amount re- 
quired to get 4160 was secured by the 
use of a 9 to 1 booster in each phase. 

The connections are shown in Fig. 
9 in diagrammatical form, without the 
secondary connections, and as carried 
out physically in Fig. 10. 

The expense incurred for trans- 
formers for small three-phase power 
service makes desirable in many cases 








20 <9/r>/B>S 


//. if 

Fig. 7. — no volts from 440 

One application of the foregoing 
general principles serves to illustrate 
the value which such devices may have 
under certain conditions. 

An installation consisting of a 300- 
kw. 2080-volt three-phase motor was 
to be supplied with energy from a 
four-wire Y connected system oper- 
ated at about 2160 volts between phase 
and neutral, or 3740 between phases. 

the use of schemes of connection by 
which three-phase secondary pressure 
may be derived from two transform- 
ers. Two schemes of connections are 
possible for this purpose, one known 
as the open delta and the other as the 
T connection. 

The open delta connection for a 
three-wire system is shown in Fig. 
11(a). This is merely an ordinary 

delta connection with one transformer 
left out. 'A simple rule by which this 
connection may be kept in mind is 
that- both primary and secondary are 
connected in series as if it were a 
three-wire Edison system. The middle 
wire of the line goes to the middle 
point between the transformer on both 
primary and secondary. 

In order to reverse the rotation, the 
two outside wires must be inter- 
changed on the primary or either two 
of the three on the secondary side. 

Fig. n(&) shows the open delta 
connection for a four-wire three-phase 
system. In this case the primary is 
connected so that both right (or left) 
hand terminals are taken from the 
neutral wire. The other two terminals 
are taken one each to any two-phase 
wires. To reverse rotation on the 
primary side the phase wires should 
be interchanged. On the secondary 
side any two wires may be reversed. 

The open delta connection requires 
15.4% more capacity in the trans- 
former coils than three transformers. 
That is, if 3-5-kw. transformers are 
fully loaded by a given installation, 
they may be replaced by an open delta 
set of two yy 2 -kw. transformers, but 
the coils of the 7 I /2-kw. units will be 
overloaded 15.4 per cent. This is evi- 
dent from an example. Assume that 
in a three transformer installation the 
current in the secondary line is 17.3 
amperes. This places a load of 10 






amperes on the transformer secondary 
coils. At 200 volts this is 2 kw. per 
transformer or 6 kw. in all. 

March, 1909 



If two 3-kw. transformers were put 
in to replace the three 2-kw. units, the 
capacity of the secondary coils would 

transformers are used across one 
phase, the magnetic circuits are sep- 
arate and the balancing reaction can- 











-T~l - 




be 15 amperes. But with the open 
delta connection the current in the 
secondary coil is the same as the cur- 
rent in the line and the 15-ampere 
winding must carry 17.3 amperes or 
15.4 per cent, overload. 

With a three-wire three-phase sys- 
tem, power service may be given by 
the use of two transformers with the 
T connection on both primary and 
secondary, as shown in Fig. 12. The 
current overload is 15.4 per cent., as 
with the open delta connection. This 
scheme cannot be used with standard 
2200-volt transformers on a four-wire 
system as the delta voltage is 3800. It 
cannot be used by putting two trans- 
formers in series as the principle of 
operation requires that the current 
passing to the transformer at the left, 
in Fig. 12, from the other transformer, 

not take place. The connection to the 
middle point of the primary is not 
brought outside the case in standard 
transformers and it is therefore not 
often used. 

This connection has a slight ad- 
vantage over the open delta in the 
three-wire system, as the pressure 
across the right-hand transformer is 
but 86.6 per cent, of the line voltage, 
which reduces the iron loss in this 
transformer about 15 per cent. The 
inherent regulation is also somewhat 

The T connection is used in trans- 
forming from three-phase to two- 
phase or vice versa, as shown in Fig. 

13(a)- . 

It will be noted that one trans- 
former must have a tap brought out 
so as to make the ratio of transforma- 




- /ioa/— 

-I Zoo V > 





*— Q- 


3740 s 



(W 1 — v\^. 


-<-/ 2GoS ' - 

- / 2.00* - 



T"e No 

- 2oQo / 

2.o8o < 


^ *\ — 

1 2-I-00 / v ait. 



divide and pass each way from the 
mid-point, so that the magnetic field 
of one balances the other. When two 

tion on that unit from 1906 to 220, 
instead of 2200 to 220 as in the other 
unit. As standard lighting trans- 

formers are not usually equipped with 
an 86.6 per cent, tap, special units are 
required for this connection. This 
connection may, however, be quite 
closely approximated by the arrange- 



ezoa </- 

- z z 00 K- 


l*v/V\A/V\A/W J 




c ■ 


. 13 (b), when the 

merit shown in Fig 
transformation is made from two- 
phase to three-phase. Standard 10 
to 1 transformers, one phase of the 
two-phase supply being choked by two 
transformers, one connected for 9.0 
per cent, choke and the other for 4.5 
per cent. 

If the pressure desired for the 

Fig. 12. — T CONNECTION 

motor service were 230 volts and the 
primary pressure were 2080 instead of 
2200, the left-hand transformer in Fig. 
13(b) should have a 9 to 1 ratio. 
With a 10 to 1 as the other unit, the 
9 per cent, choking transformer could 
be dispensed with. 



March, 1909 

In transforming from three-phase 
three-wire to two-phase, with stand- 
ard transformers, the pressure on the 
right-hand transformer in Fig. 13 (a) 
must be raised by a booster. With a 



- -r 


S'/„ Boost 

^\/S L^-VV/N, 

■*- /«•<=£ • —^ 

9 to ; 

72^-0^7^) a S£ Svpyo/jf 


3-t-cj If 



10 to I transformer in the left-hand 
position, and a 9 to 1 at the right, 
the pressure must be raised five per 
cent, by a booster. The primary coil 
of the booster must be connected 
from A phase to the center of the T 
connection as shown in Fig 13 (a), 
in order to get the pressure of the 
booster in phase with the current in 
the right-hand transformer. If only 
10 to 1 transformers are available, 
the right-hand transformer must be 
boosted 15 per cent, instead of five 
per cent. If only 9 to 1 units are to 
be had, the left-hand transformer 
must be choked 10 per cent, and the 
right-hand unit boosted five per cent., 
to give 220 volts two-phase service. 

In deriving two-phase 440-volt 
supply two sets of transformers may 

be used, putting them in parallel on 
the three-phase side and in series on 
the two-phase side. 

It is impossible to derive 440-volt 
three-phase supply from a two-phase 
supply, except with 440-volt trans- 
formers since transformers will not 
operate in series on the T-connected 
side of such a combination. 

In deriving two-phase 220-volt 
supply from a four-wire, three-phase 
system with standard transformers it 
is necessary to use three transformers 
connected as in Fig. 14. The unit at 
the left is a 10 to 1 connected from 
one phase to neutral. The two at the 
right are 9 to 1, connected with their 
secondary coils in multiple, and are 
arranged as two limbs of a Y so that 
127 volts is required at the trans- 
former terminals to give 220 volts 
across the outer wires. 

The three-phase system is unbal- 
anced by this arrangement, since half 
the power is taken from one phase and 
the other half from the other two, 
making the balance in the proportions 
of 50, 25 and 25. The capacity of the 
transformers should also be in these 

It is possible to use 10 to 1 trans 
formers for all, but if this is done, it 
is necessary to install 15 per cent, 
boosters in each of the two phases 

A Q^ 


ZSlaV - 

-2 3,o t^- 

Zo To I 

lit* 1 

9t< ] 






supplying the right-hand transformer 
in Fig. 14. 

It is not possible to derive a four- 
wire three-phase system from a two- 
phase system with standard trans- 

Railway Electrification in Japan 

The Japanese government has re- 
cently placed four contracts for ma- 
chinery and apparatus for the railway 
electrifications about to be made on 
the imperial government system. The 
first of these, consisting of three 
1000-kw. steam turbines with exciter, 
switchboard and other power-house 
appliances, was awarded to the Gen- 
eral Electric Company. 

The second, consisting of 10 pairs 
of trucks with 10 sets of 50 horse- 
power direct-current railroad motor 
equipment, went to the Siemens- 
Halske Company of Germany. The 
car bodies for this equipment are be- 
ing built in Japan. 

The third contract, consisting of 
two 300-h.p. water turbines direct- 
connected with 200-kw. alternating- 
current generators, together with com- 
plete exciter, transformer, switch- 
board and other power-house appli- 
ances, was secured by Takata & Com- 
pany, of Tokio and New York. 

The fourth contract, consisting of 
12 electric locomotives of about 50 
tons each, has not yet been let. 

The road to be electrified connects 
Tokio and several other of the larger 
cities of Japan. The government is 
said to have decided to electrify all of 
the lines about the more important 
cities of the country. 

Railway Projects 

The Prussian State Railroad Com- 
mission, which has for many years 
been considering the subject of electri- 
fying of suburban lines, and has 
equipped those in the vicinity of Ham- 
burg with a single-phase system, has 
now decided to electrify the entire 
suburban railroad system of Berlin in 
the same manner. 

The cost of this work will be not far 
from $50,000,000, and the triumph of 
the single-phase idea is all the more 
notable when it is recalled that the first 
electrification carried out by the Prus- 
sian State Railroads was a continuous- 
current third-rail system in the same 
city of Berlin. 

The Illinois Traction System will 
change the Bloomington-Peoria line 
from single-phase to direct-current. 
This part of the lines of the company 
has been operated from Peoria, and 
has been the cause of trouble on ac- 
count of cars having to run over 
direct-current city circuits. The line 
from Mackinaw to Springfield will 
also be changed over, making an al- 
teration of about 100 miles altogether. 
The power-supply will be 33,000 volts 
from Peoria as heretofore, but direct- 
current substations and feeders will be 

Comparative Cost of Power 


IN the contest for business which is 
being waged between the central 
station and the isolated plant, the 
limitations of each scheme of service 
are very clearly defined. 

The central station enters the lists 
with many striking advantages on its 
side. In the production of the mod- 
est and industrious kilowatt-hour that 
seeks admission into every power-us- 
ing property lying within its reach, 
some of the highest achievements of 
the industrial world are centered. 

The central station's most impres- 
sive asset is in the enormous scale on 
which it does business. All things in 
the well-designed modern power 
plant are planned along vast lines. To 
it comes coal, or other fuel, in ioo- 
ton steel cars, or still more econom- 
ically, in barges holding many times as 
much. Carried to the bunkers by 
mechanical forces, no human muscle is 
involved in handling it from the time 
it comes on the property until its 
residue leaves as ash. 

In the boiler-room the same large 
plan is evident. Although modern de- 
velopment in boiler design has not 
been so spectacular in the matter of 
size of the unit as has that of engines 
and generators, yet real progress has 
been made and to-day an efficiency in 
the large boilers of 80 per cent, is be- 
ing attained in many plants. 

The strides in turbo-generator de- 
signs have raised the size and economy 
until 18,000 h.p. at a full load steam 
consumption of as low as 10 lbs. per 
horsepower-hour are getting into 

Under the stimulating suggestions 
of the electrical engineer the steam- 
driven prime mover has reached a de- 
gree of excellence seemingly unattain- 
able a few years ago. 

In his own field the designer of gen- 
erators has approached to within two 
points of the ultimate limits of per- 
fection in efficiency. Henceforth his 
efforts must be confined to cheapening 
and mechanically improving his pro- 

In the distribution of power from 
the modern station the same tendency 
to largeness of construction is notice- 
able. Oil switches that will break al- 
most any load, cables whose size is 
limited only by the difficulties of 
handling, substations larger than the 
average central station of 15 years ago 
are the rule. 

And so the mammoth system ex- 

tends until it comes finally in contact 
with the object of its existence — the 
consumer. Up to this point it has done 
things in its own way, but here for 
the first time it comes into competi- 
tion with the isolated plant. 

This humble object that stands 
across the pathway of the giant of the 
day has had a far different history. 
Like the Irishman's famous pig it is 
little but old. Since power-plants 
were, it was. 

Living under the same unassuming 
roof as the load it is fashioned to serve, 
it is glad to receive its fuel by means 
of a horse and wagon in the good old- 
fashioned way. Crude human strength 
is generally used to handle it from the 
coal pit to the furnace, and in the 
same manner the ashes are carried 

analyzed, sorted out and set up for 
comparison with one another, their 
relative effect on the total cost of unit 
of power is more readily appreciated. 
With this in mind there has been col- 
lected from divers reliable sources the 
production cost data of a group of six 
central stations, and a group of six 
isolated plants operating under ap- 
proximately the same conditions as to 
the cost of the raw material for the 
manufacture of power and of the labor 

The following tables, giving data 
for the year ending in June, 1908, cov- 
ering the power plants operated by the 
Worcester Electric Light Company, 
the Lowell Electric Light Corpora- 
tion, the Fall River Electric Light 
Company, the Maiden Electric Com- 



of Engines. 

Hour Output 

Coal (bituminous) 

Cost per 






5,555 coal 

1,000 coke and breeze 
3,364 bbls. tar 




Fall River 









The small boiler of the isolated 
plant is a midget in comparison with 
its central-station congener, but it is 
generally large enough to do its w T ork. 
By way of compensation it is far less 
expensive. " 

In the engine-room the units are 
only large enough for their loads, and 
their steam consumption is from two 
to five times that of the great central- 
station unit. 

It is only in distribution that the 
small plant begins to come into its 
own. The distribution factor is the 
one great point by whose power it is 
permitted to overcome the weakness 
due to its disadvantages. 

When all these factors come to be 

pany, the Cambridge Electric Light 
Company, and the Lynn Gas & Elec- 
tric Company, are reproduced by the 
courtesy of The Engineering Maga- 
zine : 

Table 1 gives the total capacity in 
horse-power of the engines for each 
station, the total output in kilowatt- 
hours, and the amount and cost of fuel 

In the next table the various items 
that go to make up the total cost ac- 
count are given. The only factors of 
any importance that are omitted are 
rentals of real estate and costs of sta- 
tion tools and appliances. Worcester 
and Lowell were the only ones to have 
any rental, and they were insignificant. 

table 2. 

Operating Expenses. 

Plant Repairs. 


Fuel Cost. 



Oil and 

Station. Steam. . 

Electric! Total 


$37,970.06 $19,429.59 
67,032 97 94 749 si 







Sl.477.31 $650.80 $2,945.15 
846.04 1,881.90 1,859.69 

1,302.16 466.14 1,491.73 
780. 55' 1,640.23 3 325.22 

1,118.05! 1,241.30 3.557.91 

1 030 83 4 =v4.7 n 

$2,949.49 $67,441.19 
885 54 100 071 37 

Fall River 




1,168 !46 65,075.29 

653.24 54,652.53 

2,761. 12 1 74,426.58 

3 993 03 103 374.03 





March, 1909 

Lowell, Fall River, Maiden and Cam- 
bridge had items for station tools and 
appliances varying from $2,600 to 
$300 in round numbers. 

In this table the relative weight of 
the different factors is evident. Fuel 
is always the most important item and 
Wages next. Steam equipment repairs 
are, as a rule, less than electric, and 
much of the repair work in these cases 
is really maintenance, and is a very 
variable factor. 

For greater conveniences table 3, 
showing how all the above items enter 
into the operating cost of a kilowatt- 
hour, has been prepared. 




Oil and waste. 

Water „. 


Station repairs 
Steam repairs. 
Elec. repairs. . 
Miscellaneous . 












1.246 1.060 
















We now have the operating and 
maintenance cost of the unit of 
output at the switchboard, and can 
compare it with the same element in 
the case of the isolated. It will be 
borne in mind, however, that as yet 
nothing has appeared regarding the 
costs of distribution, which is the great 
handicap on the central stations. 

Turning now to the isolated plant, 
which for convenience we will desig- 
nate by their use, we find the follow- 



Horse power 
of Engine. 



~ c 





w +■ 

* a 

Bank building. . . 













Apartment house 




♦Include cost of ash removal. 

In table 5 are shown the operating 
and maintenance charges for the plants 
composing the group. It is to be 
noted that the latter set of items is 
much lower than those for the central 
station shown in table 2, the station 
repairs being included in and divided 
between the steam and electric repairs. 

In comparing these data with the 
corresponding figures for the central 
station, one of the things not at first 
expected is the fact that the fuel costs 
are lower. This is probably the effect 
of a better load factor in these partic- 


Bank building. . . 



Apartment house 






Oil and 



















































ular isolated plants. The item of 
wages also runs lower, probably on ac- 
count of lower administration costs. 








*S 3 


a 3 































Oil and waste . 







Steam repair. . 







Elec. repairs . . 














In comparing the totals, it is notable 
that whereas all the central stations' 
costs run over one cent per kilowatt- 
hour, only one of the power plants 
does so, and that one is a hotel. 

From the comparison it would ap- 
pear from the foregoing statistics that 
even at the switchboard the production 
cost of power of the isolated plant ac- 
tually compares favorably with that of 
the central station ; when the distribu- 
tion charges that are to be added to 
the items are compared, it is easy to 
predict that the station will be more 
heavily handicapped. In another ar- 
ticle we will try to arrive at an accu- 
rate estimate of the average values of 
those distribution charges in the two 

The AlasKa-YviKon Exposition 

Details of the plans for handling the 
crowds at the Exposition are now al- 
most complete. 

Expending in lump sums $910,- 
ooo for new cars, $600,000 for 
new trackage and $275,000 for mo- 
tor generators, transformers, high- 
power transmission wire and lighting 
wires and fixtures, the Seattle Elec- 
tric Co., which controls the local street 
car and lighting, will make a hand- 
some record in handling the traffic and 
lighting of the forthcoming Alaska- 
Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The im- 
provements, new lines and new power 
facilities which the company is in- 
stalling preparatory to the 1909 Fair 
mark a new era in street railway im- 
provement in the Northwest, and at 
the close of the Exposition, Seattle 
will be equipped with the most effi- 
cient service in the history of the city. 
For years the electric company has 
been kept at its wits end in maintain- 

ing schedules with its lines constantly 
impeded by street changes and im- 
provements, not to mention increasing 
its service to meet the demands of a 
growing population. The present ex- 
penditures will leave the car system in 
excellent shape after the exposition, 
and will ensure a prompt and com- 
fortable handling of the crowds at the 

Four lines will tap the fair grounds, 
two of which are now operating, with 
one more completed and the fourth 
just begun. Each line is five or six 
miles in length. All will be double- 
tracked with loop terminals at the 
grounds, and a handsome terminal 
building and power substation will be 
installed on the fair grounds. The 
company expects to be able to deliver 
passengers at the fair grounds at the 
rate of two or three cars a minute in 
rush hours and on special days. As 
each car comfortably carries 100 pas- 
sengers, the street railway system will 
be able to handle twelve or fifteen 
thousand persons an hour should the 
occasion demand. 

The additional power necessary for 
these lines will be furnished by the 
great water-power plant at Electron, 
on the Puyallup River, and the steam 
plant at Georgetown. Twenty miles 
of 13,000-volt transmission wire will 
connect this power with the substa- 
tion on the grounds, where it will be 
stepped down to 2300 volts. Two 
1000-kw. motor generators will be lo- 
cated at this station, and two others 
at substations in the city. The power 
will be sufficient to handle cars as 
rapidly as they can be safely moved 
over the four lines. 

The lump order of 140 cars, forty 
of which have already been delivered, 
is probably without precedent among 
western street car systems. The cars 
are of the most modern type, and cost 
when set up at Seattle about $6,500 
each. They are manufactured by the 
St. Louis Car Co., and known as 
single-end, side-entrance cars. Each 
car has four motors of 37^ h.p., or 
150 h.p. in all, and is capable of de- 
veloping a speed of 30 miles an hour. 

Stone and Webster, who control the 
local company, are not making the in- 
vestment of one and three-quarter 
millions of dollars with the expecta- 
tion that it will all come back in 

Continued on page 68 

Notes on Switchboard Instruments 


COMPLETENESS of detail in 
modern electric lighting and 
power stations is essential, and 
such completeness involves the use of 
proper switchboard instruments, for 
upon these depends the safety and 
efficiency of the entire generating and 
transmission system, as well as satis- 
fied customers. The instruments must 
be of the best quality, and their design 
such that their accuracy may be de- 
pended upon for long periods of con- 
tinued use. 

The manager of any manufacturing 
industry knows the amount of pro- 
duct being turned out, its cost per unit, 
the number of units sold and how 
much material is wasted. This is 
equally applicable to the generation 
and sale of electricity by central sta- 
tions. The instruments on the switch- 
boards are depended upon to tell all 
this, and to show if the cost of pro- 
duction and selling price are reason- 

The shrewd central-station superin- 
tendent desires to render service as 
satisfactory as others, and, at the same 
time, increase the dividends to the 
stockholders. In order to accomplish 
this with a minimum investment of 
capital he must know if his own plant is 
performing its functions as efficiently 
and economically as possible. He can 
only know this when he has specific 
knowledge of the actual working of 
his station. Without the switchboard 
instruments this information would be 
an impossibility. 

It was only a few years ago that 
central-station managements based 
their selection of switchboard instru- 
ments, first, upon the initial cost, and 
second, upon the accuracy. They 
now realize that there are many other 
important features which must be 
considered. If the instruments are to 
operate on alternating or direct-cur- 
rent various requirements enter into 
their construction. Variation of in- 
ductive load, wave form, voltage fre- 
quency, temperature, etc., all have to 
be considered. 

Instruments, like watches, should 
receive periodic care and attention. 
Inaccuracy or gradual deterioration of 
the instrument is sure to introduce an 
error, which will result in decreased 
efficiency and lessen the life of the 
operating apparatus with consequent 
increase in expenditures. 

It is sometimes said that instru- 
ment inspection is unnecessary, for 

there is seldom anything to correct. 
It should be remembered that many 
of the troubles developing after the 
installation of apparatus begin on an 
insignificant scale. Once having 
started, the trouble rapidly increases 
in magnitude. The small expenditure 
for inspection is necessary for good 
service, and will render the necessity 
for serious repairs an unusual thing. 
The expense, delay and inconvenience 
caused by having to remove an instru- 
ment from the switchboard and send it 
to the maker is more than compen- 
sated for by keeping a watchful eye 
ready to detect the slightest fault. 

The larger plants, also stations oper- 
ated by syndicates, maintain elaborate 
testing departments, with one or more 
experts who are occupied system- 
atically in locating faults and main- 
taining everything in good condition. 
Many stations of smaller size employ 
one of the regular employes to do the 
necessary testing. 

The data collected by such testing 
discloses that one of the most fre- 
quent sources of trouble and loss to a 
station is poor voltage regulation. 
This may be caused by speed varia- 
tion, overloading, or poor design of 
the circuits, improper compounding of 
the generators, inattention to the volt- 
meter, or some fault with the switch- 
board instruments. Although poor 
voltage regulation may be due to any 
of these troubles, it is very essential 
to know if it lies in the switchboard 

Close voltage regulation has not 
been properly appreciated by many 
plants. The life of incandescent lamps 
is greatly shortened by increase of 
voltage ; for example, running them 
four per cent, above their rated volt- 
age reduces their life one half. High 
voltage causes the lamp user to expect 
20 to 30 c-p. from a 16 c-p. lamp, so 
that dissatisfaction is sure to follow 
correction of the voltage. Low volt- 
age means poor lights, and hence 
people will prefer to use gas or oil 
lights. Voltmeters with continued 
service are apt to read low rather than 
high, so that the station attendant will 
be running the station at an excessive 
voltage when he believes the pressure 

Poor service means dissatisfied cus- 
tomers and retards the growth of 
business. The writer calls to mind 
where a supply man reported that his 
lamps failed to give satisfaction at a 

certain town. A visit to the plant 
showed that the attendant employed 
no voltmeter and informed the supply 
man that he could detect with his eye 
when the lamps were at the correct 
voltage. The lamps in this case were 
for a 104-volt circuit and were found 
to be operating at 11^4% in excess of 
this rating. Another station made 
tests in their potential and found that 
the secondary voltage varied from 112 
to 140 volts, when the normal voltage 
should have been no. The effect on 
lamps, transformer core loss and cost 
of renewals in either of these two cases 
needs no comment. 

While this evidences the value of a 
thorough knowledge of operating con- 
ditions it also shows the necessity of 
an accurate voltmeter. Voltmeters are 
of such vital importance that their in- 
itial accuracy as they leave the manu- 
facturers should be within one per 

The ammeter, although of great im- 
portance, is second to the voltmeter. 
On constant current series incandes- 
cent and arc lighting circuits, or in 
electro-plating, it is of greater value 
than the voltmeter. The ammeter 
shows at any instant the current out- 
put of the generator, feeder, or trans- 
former, also when part of the load 
should be transferred to another gen- 
erator or station. It serves as an in- 
dicator to protect the lines, generators, 
transformers and other apparatus from 
heavy overloading, and possible burn 
out, with attending fire risk. 

Indicating wattmeters are not used 
in direct-current work to the extent 
they are in alternating-current service. 
In the latter they are very essential. 
On polyphase circuits a polyphase in- 
dicating wattmeter, showing at any 
instant the watt or kilowatt output for 
the circuit to which it is connected, is 

Indicating wattmeters, when used 
on the panels for alternating-current 
generators, serve as a ready means of 
determining if the field excitation of 
the machine is giving the highest ob- 
tainable power factor. The power 
factor is a maximum when the excita- 
tion is so adjusted that the armature 
current is a minimum for a given out- 

The fact that the polyphase watt- 
meter indicates on a single scale the 
total energy of a polyphase system 
for balanced or unbalanced loads, and 
this regardless of whether the load 




March, 1909 

comprises incandescent lamps, arc 
lamps, fan motors, induction motors, 
rotary converters, etc., appeals to all 
central-station superintendents who 
are the users of polyphase apparatus. 

When used on a polyphase circuit, 
the voltage of which is balanced, a 
single-phase wattmeter may have its 
potential circuit so wired to a double- 
throw switch that it is possible to read 
the wattless component as well as the 
energy component. 

The ratio of these two quantities is 
a factor proportional to the available 
power of the circuit. 

Rather than install a double-throw 
switch and single-phase wattmeter and 
then compute the power- factor, the 
power-factor indicator is preferable. 
While it is necessary to know the effi- 
ciency of operation at all time, it is 
equally necessary to know the phase 
relations existing in the circuit at any 
instant. The power-factor indicator 
serves as a means of detecting cross 
currents between generators operat- 
ing in multiple, also if the rotary con- 
verters are doing their best work. 
Since the power-factor of a rotary 
converter, as well as a synchronous 
motor, can be varied by altering the 
field excitation, the alternating-current 
ammeters may be omitted from the 
panel and a power-factor indicator 

Not only is it necessary to maintain 
constant voltage but there is, in alter- 
nating-current work, another trouble- 
some factor. The frequency must be 
maintained at a certain definite value. 
The importance of a frequency in- 
dicator on the switchboard is too often 
under-estimated. Frequency varia- 
tion not only effects the efficiency of 
the generating apparatus and trans- 
formers designed to operate at a 
definite frequency but also may affect, 
to a degree, the accuracy of the in- 
tegrating meters upon which the rev- 
enue of the station depends. Varia- 
tion of frequency between prime mov- 
ers may in turn produce disturbances 
in other synchronous apparatus oper- 
ating in multiple. Frequency varia- 
tion may be due to irregular speed of 
the engine or water-wheel, as may be 
the case with a slow-speed reciprocat- 
ing engine or a sluggish governor, 
producing in turn cross currents be- 
tween generators or surging currents 
developed by synchronous apparatus. 
Such a variation often causes a flicker- 
ing of the lights which is unpleasant 
and tiring to the eye. For such con- 
ditions the frequency indicator is in- 
valuable. Not only will it show that 
this condition exists but it will prove 
of material assistance in locating the 

While these various instruments 
serve to indicate the conditions exist- 
ing at any particular instant, they fail 

to leave any record. Completeness of 
detail requires a record of the fluctua- 
tion of the voltage, current, load, 
power factor and frequency in order 
that necessary steps can be taken to 
locate and correct these faults. The 
curve drawing instruments serve this 
field of usefulness, and at the same 
time render additional service since 
they record fluctuations which would 
doubtless be entirely unnoticed or 
overlooked with the ordinary indicat- 
ing instrument. 

With the development of the many 
rate systems of charging for electric 
energy, the curve drawing instrument 
is entering a particularly important 
field. The rate of charge may be based 
upon the maximum one-minute load or 
maximum five-minute load or other 
slight modifications, depending upon 
the local existing conditions. The 
record left, therefore, serves as a basis 
of charge. 

There are certain fundamental feat- 
ures which are important in selecting 
an instrument. It should be direct- 
reading and accurate all times. It 
should be simple and neat, rather than 
complex and composed of many parts. 
It should be strong and of robust con- 
struction, able to withstand trans- 
portation and moderately rough usage. 
When installed on the switchboard, 
more or less jar and vibration is pres- 
ent. This is apt to affect the accuracy 
by increasing friction or throwing the 
parts out of balance. The instrument 
should be unaffected by the continued 
jar to which it will be subjected when 
mounted in place. 

The great difficulty in securing ac- 
curacy is the smallness of the forces 
dealt with. The greater the torque, 
for a given weight of moving element, 
the smaller the friction error. To in- 
crease the torque — other things re- 
maining equal — means increased 
energy consumption. Increased en- 
ergy consumption is usually attended 
with increased electrical errors. The 
torque must then be as high as pos- 
sible and yet consistent with low 
energy consumption, small electrical 
error, and light weight of moving ele- 

Friction is present and cannot be 
totally eliminated. It, ' however, can 
be reduced to a minimum. Friction 
is not a constant quantity but increases 
as the instrument continues in use. 
Almost any instrument can be pro- 
duced with small initial friction, but 
much thought, experimenting and ex- 
pense have been directed to secure the 
best construction of moving parts so 
that friction would always remain a 
minimum. High torque is of para- 
mount importance, for if the ratio of 
torque to friction is high, friction may 
increase several hundred per cent, 
without perceptably affecting the ac- 

curacy. Many switchboard instru- 
ments are now designed so skilfully 
that the friction error is much less than 

To still further minimize the effect 
of initial friction, the moving element 
should be made as light as is consistent 
with strength, high torque and sta- 
bility. A light-weight moving element 
tends to simplify the bearing construc- 

Jewel bearings have come to be al- 
most the universal form since they en- 
sure minimum friction and long life. 
The delicate construction of the bear- 
ings means that the instruments must 
at all times receive careful and intel- 
ligent handling. Should the instru- 
ment be set down carelessly with con- 
siderable jar, the jewels may be 
cracked, for they are very brittle. This 
causes increased friction, inaccurate 
indications and "stickiness." Delicate 
construction must not be considered a 
defect for it is necessary. The ex- 
treme accuracy demanded of the in- 
strument can only be secured by deli- 
cate construction of the various parts. 

In order that a violent fluttering or 
fluctuation of the indicating needle 
on a rapidly changing current may be 
prevented, the instrument should pos- 
sess excellent dead-beat qualities. The 
permanent and electro-magnetic form 
of damping are usually the simplest 
and most efficient. 

The finish should receive due atten- 
tion. It should not crack or peel off 
but be of a durable nature. The fin- 
ish should be selected so that it will 
harmonize with the rest of the switch- 
board. A dull black finish seems to 
meet the demands of instrument users. 
It also has the advantage that if for 
any reason it should become scratched, 
a brush moistened with the finish and 
applied will remove all trace of the 

The larger central stations prefer 
their instruments so constructed that 
the cover may be easily removed and 
the internal parts easily accessible for 
any repairs or calibration. This is 
important since it may save removing 
the instrument from the panel and 
shipping it to the manufacturer for 
repairs with all the attendant delays 
and inconvenience, to say nothing of 
the unnecessary expense incurred. 

Switchboard instruments should be 
unaffected by external temperature 
variations or internal heating effects. 
The error should not exceed i%. 
This result is not always attained. 
The writer recalls a test made at no 
volts on a 150- volt voltmeier. The 
heating effect of the current flowing 
in the instrument's windings resulting 
in an indication 7% low. The manu- 
facturer claimed this voltmeter to be 
"the most perfect on the market." 

Instruments are divided according 

March, 1909 



to their principle of operation into five 
different types : hot wire, electrostatic, 
D'Arsonval, dynamometer and electro- 
magnetic, the latter including the in- 
duction type. 


Hot wire instruments are limited in 
their commercial application to am : 
meters and volt meters. As their name 
implies, their action depends on the 
heating effect produced by the pas- 
sage of an electric current through a 
fine wire, causing it to expand. The 
indications of the needle are secured 
by the amplification of the motion of 
this expansion or lengthening of the 
wire. A spring keeps the moving 
system always in tension, and fur- 
nishes the necessary torque for mov- 
ing the indicating needle up the scale. 

It will be observed that the action 
of the spring of the hot wire instru- 
ment is the reverse of that of any 
ordinary type, for in the latter the 
spring tends to bring the needle back 
to zero. 

Figure I shows a hot-wire gauge 
instrument, in this case an ammeter, 
operating from a shunt. In this in- 
stance the wire which is heated is held 
in the rectangular frame, and zero can 
be regulated by the regulating screw 
R. Ti and T2 are the main circuit 
terminals. P is the pulley which also 
supports the pointer of the instrument, 
and S is the spring which is controlled 
by the expansion or contracting of the 
wire. The conductor F, in this par- 
ticular type' of instrument, is of some 
very flexible material, such as silver 
foil, and does not in any way interfere 
with the free movement of the wire. 

When the current flows through the 
main circuit, in this case from Ti to 
T2, the direction of the passage 
through the shunt and hot wire is in- 
dicated by the arrows. 

Since hot wire instruments operate 
without magnetic or electrostatic in- 
fluences, they are free from errors due 
to frequency or wave form variation. 
They can be calibrated on direct cur- 
rent and used with equal accuracy on 
alternating current or vice versa. 
They are uninfluenced by stray electro- 
magnetic or electrostatic fields, or 
hysteresis, and are dead beat. This 
type of instrument has, however, one 
inherent defect and that is the tend- 
ency to creep or lag. To illustrate, 
125 volts is thrown on a hot-wire volt- 
meter whose full scale reads 180; the 
needle quickly indicates 115 volts, but 
it is necessary to wait five or six 
seconds before it reaches the 125 mark. 
The instrument is, however, very sen- 
sitive to even small fluctuations of the 
current, fluctuations as low as two- 
tenths of one per cent, of full scale 
can be easily detected. When the cur- 
rent is taken off the instrument the 

needle returns immediately to within 
one-eighth to one-sixteenth of an inch 
of the zero mark, and then occupies at 
least one to two minutes to creep back 
to zero. If the instrument is in good 



condition the needle will usually re- 
turn to zero if given sufficient time. 
If, for any reason, the needle should 
permanently change its zero position, 
an adjustment is provided for regulat- 
ing either the slack of the wire or the 
tension of the spring. 

Platinum silver wire is used for the 
expanding wire because it can with- 
stand considerable heating without 
taking a permanent set or oxidizing, 
and moreover possesses a low tem- 
perature coefficient. The expansions 
dealt with are very minute, being be- 
tween .003" and .01", hence if the 
spring is too strong the wire is apt to 
be stretched. This limitation of the 
spring's strength also limits the torque. 


In order to exclude the effects of 
external temperature variation, differ- 
ent devices have been resorted to such 
as supporting the expanding wire from 
terminals which are mounted on a base 
having the same temperature coeffi- 
cient as the wire. The wire being very 
small (.15 to .25 mm.), takes up any 
change of temperature rapidly as com- 
pared with the comparatively massive 
base, and lag of the indicating needle 

results. The wire must necessarily 
be small to avoid sluggishness. To 
secure maximum expansion the wire 
must be worked as hot as possible ; 
hence it may burn out on heavy over- 
load. The mass of the expanding 
metal is so small that it may on a 
heavy current increase its temperature 
more rapidly than a fuse. The manu- 
facturer of one type of hot wire in- 
struments employs a unique and highly 
commendable scheme to compensate 
for temperature variations. This is 
shown in Figure 2. The expanding 
wire is looped about a small pulley, 
both ends of the wire being secured to 
a support which is held by the control 
springs. Current applied at terminals 
Ti, T2, is carried by only one-half of 
this wire, thus causing a slight turning 
of the pulley (P). The movement of 
the pulley is transmitted by suitable 
multiplying devices to the indicating 
needle. When the temperature of the 
air changes both wires are affected 
alike, hence there will be no move- 
ment of the pulley and the position of 
the needle will be unaffected. 

Since the indication of hot-wire in- 
struments depends upon the heat 
developed in the expanding wire, and 
the heating effect is proportional to 
the square of the current, it is obvious 
that the normal scale follows a square 
law. This means that near zero the 
scale will start with small divisions, 
gradually increasing in width. This is 
an advantage for voltmeters, since the 
scale is open at the normal operating 
portion, but it is a disadvantage for 

Hot wire voltmeters are made on 
the same principle as the ammeter 
shown above, except that no shunt is 
used, and there is very little difference 
between the mechanical construction 
of the two instruments. The differ- 
ences lie in the wire itself, and in the 
method of connecting. The wire of 
the voltmeter is on a finer gauge than 
that of the ammeter, and is usually 
connected in series with a resistance. 

Ammeters are not usually built 
above three amperes for direct connec- 
tion into the circuit; they are almost 
universally operated from shunts. 
This introduces the disadvantage of 
large power consumption, contact 
troubles and shunt temperature errors. 
When operated on alternating current, 
it is advisable to use series transform- 
ers and eliminate the source of these 
unfavorable features. The voltage 
drop on ammeters at full load approx- 
imates .2 to .25 volts, while the volt- 
meter requires a current of .15 to .25 
ampere. A 3000-ampere ammeter 
operated from a shunt then requires 
750 watts, or one h.p. to operate it at 
full load, while a 750-volt voltmeter 
with .2 ampere takes 150 watts, or 
one-fifth h.p. 



March, 1909 

A damping attachment consisting of 
an aluminum disk fixed to a pivot and 
moving between the poles of a small, 
permanent magnet is often provided 
both with voltmeters and ammeters. 
The object of the damper is rather to 
minimize the effect of external vibra- 
tion than to render the instrument 
dead beat, as they inherently possess 
this quality. 

The hot-wire instruments now on 
the market are fairly accurate and can 
be used with gratifying results in the 
presence of strong stray fields, or on 
direct or alternating-current provided 
rapid reading are not required. The 
hot-wire instrument is the only com- 
mercial switchboard instrument which 
is available for high frequency work. 

The Workshop and the Schools 

Edwin Reynolds, the late chief en- 
gineer of the Allis-Chalmers Com- 
pany, who died at his home in Milwau- 
kee on February 19, aged seventy- 
eight years, was a most admirable ex- 
ample of the great engineer evolved 
from the workshop. Mr. Reynolds 
was born in Mansfield, Conn., on 
March 23, 183 1, and all the schooling 
he had was received in the public 
school of his native village. He served 
an apprenticeship with a small ma- 
chinist in that town, and, equipped 
with his "trade," went to work 
in machine shops in Connecticut. 
Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana, 
and rose by merit to be foreman for 
Stradman & Co., builders of engines, 
saw mills and drainage pumps at Au- 
rora. Later, returning to the East, he 
entered into the employ of the Corliss 
Steam Engine Company, at Provi- 
dence, R. I., where, under the personal 
guidance of Mr. Corliss, he rose to be 
superintendent in 187 1. It was here 
that he began to show ability as an en- 
gineer. It was he who designed and 
built the great "Centennial" engine, 
exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876, and 
it was to be his privilege during the 
next twenty-eight years to see the 
products of his skill successively 
shown as "Big Engines" at Chicago in 
1894 and at St. Louis in 1904. 

The two later engines were de- 
signed and built by Mr. Reynolds for 
the E. P. Allis Company, and its suc- 
cessor, the Allis-Chalmers Company, 
as Mr. Reynolds had joined E. P. Al- 
lis in 1877. 

Mr. Reynolds' reputation as an en- 
gineer was built upon notable achieve- 
ments. He originated the Reynolds- 
Corliss valve gear, which is the foun- 
dation of all the Corliss valve gears in 
use ; he originated the type of blowing 
engines used in all iron furnaces ; he 
made the steam stamp used in the 
Lake Superior copper regions ; the 
modern pumping engine was his con- 
ception, and finally he conceived and 
built the Manhattan type of engine, 

which creates the vast electric power 
for our elevated and subway railroads. 

There was no doubt of his high 
standing as an engineer, and, more- 
over, he was always at the same time 
a mechanic. He designed nothing 
that could not be built and noth- 
ing that could not be built with the fa- 
cilities which he knew were available. 

His last great feat was the design- 
ing and building of the west Allis 
works of the Allis-Chalmers Com- 
pany. This, perhaps, is one of the 
most notable of his feats. The works 
is not only the most perfect, perhaps, 
of all the great engineering works of 
the world, but they have the unique 
distinction of having been entirely de- 
signed along ideal lines before even a 
site was chosen, and then the site was 
selected for equally ideal reasons. 

The engineering success of a man 
like Mr. Reynolds is apt to bring to 
the front the old query : "If a man 

can become the leader of his profession 
with only a shop training, what is the 
use of a university or technical school 
education ?" 

The answer is not really hard to 
find. There are men holding high 
places in some of our great electric 
concerns who have risen to eminence 
with no better foundations than Mr. 
Reynolds had. Their success, like 
that of Mr. Reynolds, was due to their 
ability, but their opportunities came 
largely from the existence of a pecu- 
liar condition in their industries, which 
prevented their lack of schooling 
from handicapping them. 

"We were pioneers in our field," 
said one of the high officials of the 
General Electric Company recently, in 
explaining his success, "and nobody 
knew any more than we did." 

Mr. Reynolds was a pioneer in his 
field. There was little of value that 
the schools could have taught him that 
he did not learn as well in the shops. 
There may be fields of engineering 
where the like is true to-day, but we do 

not recognize them. In the generation 
that has seen the career of Mr. Reyn- 
olds and his compeers there has grown 
about their work such a mass of scien- 
tific knowledge and data that the youth 
who would assay success to-day with- 
out a technical schooling is braving 
fate. He may succeed in catching up 
with and even passing the college-bred 
man, but his chances do not equal the 
risk of failure. The schools can in 
a few years put him abreast of where 
Mr. Reynolds lay down the burden of 
his work, while a generation in the 
shops would leave him struggling in 
the rear. All hail to the great men of 
the Reynolds type, but this is the day 
of the college man. 

The AlasKa-YviKon. Exposition 

Continued from page 64 

nickels during the period of the expo- 
sition. To accomplish such a result 
the street cars would have to handle 
something like 35,000,000 people dur- 
ing the four months and a half that 
the fair will last, which is obviously 
out of the question. If a quarter as 
many people attend, the 1909 Expo- 
sition will be a record breaker. The 
present improvements of the car sys- 
tem are all in the nature of perma- 
nent investments. 

For the lighting of the exposition 
the same company has the contract, 
and is preparing a most elaborate il- 

The substation on the fair grounds 
will be the source of current, and all 
wires will be laid in underground 
conduits, thus eliminating the un- 
sightliness of poles or wires on the 
fair grounds. 

The lighting power will come from 
the same sources as the transportation 
power. At the substation will be four 
1000-kw. transformers with the neces- 
sary regulators and switches. The 
outdoor or decorative lighting cur- 
rents will pass through a rheostat, the 
plan being to turn on the lights all 
over the grounds gradually, starting 
with a mere twinkle and growing 
slowly into brilliant illumination. The 
water front on Lake Washington and 
the terraced hillsides overlooking the 
lake, with the wide avenues of the 
exposition leading down to the shore, 
will be brightly lighted, and the night 
scene from the water promises, to be 
marvelously effective and inspiring. 

The Weber Gas Engine Company, 
of Kansas City, has passed into a re- 
ceivership instituted by a friendly suit. 
The intent of this is to permit a reor- 
ganizaton of the company whereby it 
may be placed on a stronger financial 
basis. The company reports business 
good and its shops are running full 
time. It will continue to enter and 
carry out contracts as heretofore and 
hopes soon to be on a better footing 
than ever. 

March, 1909 



Why the Meter Read High? 

In both the gas and electric fields 
a never-ending cause of argument has 
been the question of recording meters 
not reading correctly. The following 
is the true account of one man's ex- 
perience with a meter which was 
found to have this bad habit. 

A and B were friends who worked 
at adjoining desks in the office of a 
large corporation located downtown 
in New York. One day the literature 
of a real estate agent, who was open- 
ing up a new tract of land in New 
Jersey, fell into B's hands. He ap- 
proached his friend about buying a 
home and, as a result, in time, they 
selected houses adjoining each other 
on this tract. 

After some months, when A was 
visiting B one evening, the question 
of charges for electric power came up 
and A asked : 

"Charlie (B), what does your elec- 
tric light bill run per month?" 

"The bill I received this morning 
was for $4.25," was the reply. 

"Four twenty-five? Aren't you 
mistaken, Charlie? Our houses are 
alike and yet my last bill was for 

"Oh, no, Will, it has been running 
at about that amount for some time." 

"Then my meter must be wrong," 
said Will. "I guess I'll report it for 
inspection to the company." 

On his way down to catch the New 
York train next morning, he stopped 
in the office of the electric company 
and explained his trouble and asked 
to have an inspection made. 

Later in the day an inspector took 
up the case and, as a preliminary, took 
note of the office records. Each house 
showed 25 outlets of which 15 were 
equipped with 16-c-p. lamps and the 
balance with eight candle-power 
globes. In addition, each patron had 
one 12-in. fan. 

On arriving at A's the inspector 
first tested the meter and found it 
O. K. to well within the legal error. 
Then he went up into the house and 
checked up what was supposed to be 
the right number of lamps and fan, 
and found everything agreeing with 
the office record. He then visited the 
adjoining house owned by B and here 
he duplicated the tests made at the 
first house. Here likewise the meter 
was found legally correct with all 
other apparatus checking with the 

The next day a report was sent to 
A telling him of the inspection of his 
house, showing that his meter was in 
first-class working order, that the wir- 
ing system was free from grounds or 
other troubles, and that his whole in- 
stallation was in fine shape. Mr. A 

thanked the company for its prompt 
and thorough attention to his com- 

When bills for the next month's ac- 
count had been sent to consumers, A 
again enquired of B about the amount 
of his bill, and again found his amount 
about 50 per cent, higher than B's. 
Again he reported this question of ex- 
cessive charges to the company and a 
second test again showed nothing out 
of order in any way. The company 
assured Mr. A that he was only being 
charged with the amount of current 
he was using, but confessed itself un- 
able to account for the difference. 

The morning after the bills for the 
next succeeding month had been ren- 
dered, A tore into the light com- 
pany's office and demanded of the 
office boy to be shown to the manager 
at once. Anger and indignation 
marked his every movement. As soon 
as he caught sight of the manager he 
broke out with : 

"Here, you scoundrel, get your 
wires and power out of my house just 
as quickly as you can. I won't be 
swindled by a lot of thieves any more. 
Get them out, do you hear? get them 
out. I'll give you until noon to do it, 
but I want them out as much sooner 
as you can get your men up there. I'll 
use candles before I submit to such 
robbery any more !" 

When the manager had quieted him 
enough to find out the cause of the 
outburst, he discovered a very inter- 
esting situation. When A had re- 
ceived the second report of O. K. 
from the light company he had gone 
to his friend. 

"Say, B, I have just received an- 
other report from the electric com- 
pany stating that my meter and lights 
are all right. Now I want you to 
give me some help in running this 
down. Your house is exactly like 
mine. You have the same electric 
equipment as I have and your family 
consists of yourself, wife, baby and 
nurse, the same as mine. Will you try 
to close up your house each night for 
this month at the same time as I do, 
and see how we come out? Of course, 
our bills won't be exactly alike, but 
close enough to check." 

"Why, of course, Will," his friend 
replied, and they started that very day, 
the second of the month. 

At the end of the month the bills 
were awaited with eagerness. When 
they came A's called for the payment 
of $6.50, and B's $4.10. Both men 
agreed that A was being swindled. 
The call at the manager's office next' 
morning resulted. 

The manager did his best to try and 
persuade A to retain his electric con- 
nection, but that individual was too 
mad to listen to such suggestions. 

During the day the manager made 
a trip up to A's home with the man 
assigned to disconnect. For his own 
satisfaction another series of tests 
duplicating all previous ones was 
made, with the result of showing 
everything O. K. Then he went up 
into the house and opened up a con- 
versation with the nurse about the 
habits of the household, endeavoring 
to learn in this way what might ac- 
count for extra current consumption, 
but no gleam of light could be de- 
ducted from it. While talking with 
her, Mrs. A came in and enquired 
what his business was, and on learn- 
ing it confirmed within the next few 
minutes the statements made by the 

The managed was about to leave 
with no solution apparent, when his 
ear caught a buzzing sound. 

"What is that?" he asked. 

"Oh, only the fan putting the baby 
to sleep," Mrs. A informed him. 

"Fan, putting the baby to sleep?" 
he enquired; "I don't believe I just 
grasp what you mean." 

"Oh, we put the fan in the upturned 
box cover of the sewing machine and 
let it blow so that it just creates the 
slightest breeze over the baby as he 
lies asleep," vouched Mrs. A. "The 
baby has grown so accustomed to it 
we let it blow all the time he is asleep, 
otherwise he will awaken and cry." 

"How long does he usually sleep, 
Mrs. A ?" the manager asked. 

"Oh, nearly all the afternoon," was 
her answer. 

The manager thanked her and de- 
parted. At the office it did not take 
long to figure out the cost of fan- 
motor current to check within a few 
cents of the unaccounted extra 

That night he sought Mr. A in his 
home and reported a new test by him- 
self with different results than before. 

"You are paying about four dollars 
a month for lighting current, the same 
as B, but an extra charge of about two 
dollars to put the baby to sleep." 

"Two dollars to put the baby to 
sleep ? What do you mean ?" asked A. 

The manager explained the point 
and A called upstairs to his wife : 

"Say, mother, do you use the fan 
on the baby every afternoon?" 

"Yes, Will," she answered, "nearly 
all of every afternoon, for he won't 
sleep without it." 

A looked at the manager for a sec- 
ond and then broke into a laugh. 

"Well, I'll be d— d," he commented. 
"Take this bill and blow the boys in 
the office to cigars and tell them it's 
on me this time." 

M. O. Buckley. 



March, 1909 

Operating Performance of Some 
Isolated Plants 

A study of the actual, every-day 
results from the operation of well- 
designed, modern, gas-driven, isolated 
plants leads one irresistibly to the con- 
clusion that to this type of prime 
mover belongs the future of the iso- 
lated plant in cases where the heating 
problem does not enter. As an ex- 
ample of what can be done, we have 
recently received information con- 
cerning a plant in the city of Grand 
Rapids, Michigan, which by the way 
has a very low public rate, two cents 
per kilowatt-hour being a not unusual 
quotation to owners of even small- 
sized plants. Therefore we believe 
it will be of particular interest to men- 
tion the case of a gas power-plant in- 
stalled by the Olds Gas Power Com- 
pany for the Heyman Company of that 

The Heyman Company conducts a 
household furnishing department 
store, and, until a large extension to 
their building was made, maintained a 
small gas-engine plant, which was not 
operated but just kept there to secure 
a reduction in the electric current rate. 
As the company furnishing the current 
was not inclined to extend the low rate 
on the new building, the management 
decided to purchase an independent 
plant. To avoid any waste in floor 
space, this plant was installed under a 
17-ft. wide loading platform, and con- 
sisted of two 65-h.p. Olds gas engines 
belted to a dynamo, and a 130 h.p. 
Pintsch suction gas producer. 

The reason for installing one pro- 
ducer with two engines was lack of 
floor space, and the desire to reduce 
the amount of attendance required to 
the minimum. That this latter re- 
quirement was fully met is best proven 
by the fact that no extra attendant 
was engaged to take care of the plant, 
the engineer who attended to the elec- 
tric wiring, elevators, heat, etc., 
around the premises also attending to 
the producer installation ; and this not- 
withstanding that the plant for the 
first two years after its installation was 
maintaining a twenty-four-hour serv- 
ice from Sunday night until Sunday 

The load conditions of this plant 
are such that during the major part 
of the forenoon it does not exceed, at 
the most, 10 h.p., and one of the en- 
gines is in service at that time. The 
conditions of the load remain the 
same, with slight variation, until some 
time in the afternoon, when the load 
rapidly comes up to full capacity of 
one engine, but seldom exceeds it. But 
by the time the display signs are 
thrown in, the load is up to full ca- 
pacity, and often in excess of the rated 
power of both engines combined. 

The load so remains until the clos- 

ing hour, after which part is removed, 
but even then the current consumed 
by the lamps, display windows and 
signs is in excess of the capacity of 
one engine, so that two units are in 
operation until eleven o'clock. For- 
merly one of the engines was kept 
running throughout the night. This 
was primarily to save the engineer the 
trouble of starting up in the morning. 
Now the plant is shut down, as stated 
above, and started at six o'clock in 
the morning. It is interesting to note 
that the plant in question, from about 
six o'clock in the evening until the 
time of shutting down, as given above, 
is operated practically without an at- 
tendant, the engineer leaving the 
premises, and the only attention given 
to the plant is that each hour, in mak- 
ing his rounds, the watchman stops 
into the engine-room. Being an el- 
derly man with no particular disposi- 
tion to interfere with anything me- 
chanical, he limits his efforts strictly to 
the few manipulations required when 
the apparatus is taken care of for the 
night, viz., at eleven o'clock. 

It will be seen from the above that 
the load factor in this installation is 
not a favorable one for high economy. 
Notwithstanding this, when some time 
ago the Muskegon Heat, Light ,& 
Power Company proposed to furnish 
current to the firm at ij^c. rate per 
horse-power hour, without any restric- 
tion as to minimum rate, meter 
charges, etc., after a careful anaylsis 
and observations as to the current con- 
sumed and the cost of current gener- 
ated in the plant installation, lasting 
from four to six weeks, it was found 
that, including all charges except the 
charge for the attendant, whose serv- 
ices were required in the building of 
this size previously and irrespective of 
whether or not the plant were in use, 
the current cost was 1.1 c. per kilowatt 
hour, delivered at the switchboard. In 
view of these results, the offer of the 
Muskegon H. L. & P. Company was 
not accepted. 

Among other advantages gained, it 
is stated that only since the firm has 
had its own plant have the employees 
come to realize the advantages of arti- 
ficial light. No efforts are made to 
reduce the number of lights burning, 
and as a result the store is always 
lighted to the best advantage of the 
customers and store employes, and to 
bring about the most attractive dis- 
play of goods. 

Another case in point is that of the 
Home Electric Light & Power Com- 
pany, of Greeley, Colorado. This 
plant consists of two 150-h.p. suction 
producers feeding four 75-h.p. gas 
engines. The fuel used is a mixture 
of anthracite coal and coke which costs 
in the neighborhood of $6.00 per ton. 
Notwithstanding this high fuel cost, 

the management states that the total 
cost of output, including operating ex- 
penses, interest and depreciation, is 
1.65 cents per kilowatt-hour as 
against a cost of three cents with the 
old steam plant. 

Correspondence with many users of 
isolated producer gas-driven plants as 
to the alleged disadvantages of noise, 
smell, oil splash, dirt, vibration, in- 
surance, increase, value of floor space 
and all other disabilities charged 
against the gas engine, has failed to 
unearth many grievances. In fact the 
first one only, that is to say, noise, has 
been seriously considered and it is 
found that wherever proper provision 
has been made for its suppression, no 
inconvenience or complaint has been 

In the plant at Greeley, Colorado, 
the noise heard by a person standing 
in the railroad depot is less noticeable 
than that issuing from a steam plant 
which is 100 feet further away. As a 
rule, in most of these small plants the 
principal noise is that due to the belts. 

The best comment on the whole 
situation is the rapid increase in the 
number of gas-driven plants that are 
now under consideration and being in- 

Useful to Exporters 

"Aid to Shippers" is the title of a 
72-page book containing a quantity of 
information of value to all engaged in 
the export or import trade. The book 
is issued by Oelrichs & Co., of New 
York, for more than 40 years the 
American representatives of the North 
German Lloyd Steamship Company, 
who by reason of long experience are 
qualified to advise. 

The tables of foreign moneys with 
United States equivalents, together 
with weights, measurements, tariffs, 
customs requirements, etc., etc., will 
be found of great value. 

"Aids to Shippers" will be sent, 
postpaid, on request to Oelrichs & Co., 
Forwarding Department, 5 Greenwich 
St., New York. 

Mr. Charles T. Main, Boston, Mass., 
well known through his extended 
practice as mill engineer and architect, 
has been appointed by the Council of 
the American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers as a member of the Na- 
tional Conservation Commission, with 
special reference to water powers. Mr. 
Main is particularly well equipped for 
this work through wide experience in 
examinations and reports upon vari- 
ous water powers in this country and 
in Mexico and British Columbia. He 
is just now engaged in two large de- 
velopments on the upper Missouri 
River near Great Falls, Montana, each 
of which will provide for the distribu- 
tion of 36,000 h.p. 

March, 1909 



Hydro-Electric Power Plant of the 
West Point Mfg'. Co. 

A most important water-power de- 
velopment and one which marks the 
steady progress of the South in the 
utilization of her large natural re- 
sources is shown in that just com- 
pleted by the West Point Mfg, 
Co., at Langdale. Ala. The mag- 
nitude of the work is significant 
in itself of the awakening of the 
Southern manufacturer to the eco- 
nomic possibilities presented by the 
abundant water power for the genera- 
tion of electricity. 

Chas. T. Main, Mill Engineer and 
Architect, of Boston, Mass., designed 
the station and had in charge the in- 
stallation of all motors except those 
in the Shawmut Mill, also trans- 
formers and transmission lines of 
which the following is a description. 

Langdale is situated about thirty- 

the main floor. The superstructure is 
of brick surmounted with a cinder 
concrete roof supported by steel 
trusses. This house is 214 ft. long by 
35 ft. wide. The switchboard is lo- 
cated in the bay in the centre of the 
building. All station wiring is en- 
cased in lead sheathes and carried in 
trenches built into the concrete floor. 

Owing to the low-head conditions 
it was necessary to adopt the vertical 
type of turbines and transmit power 
by means of bevel gears to the gen- 
erators, which are direct connected to 
horizontal jack shafts. 

The total power is divided into four 
units, one of 750 kw. and three of 
550 kw. capacity each. An engine, 
previously installed, will drive a 400- 
kw. belted generator to act as a relay. 
The 750-kw. unit is driven by four 
60-inch "New American" turbines, 
built by the Dayton Globe Iron 
Works, Dayton, O. Two of the 550- 

by the Lombard Governor Co., of 
Ashland, Mass. 

Excitation is furnished by two 85- 
kw., 125-volt exciter units driven by 
Morse silent chains from a jack shaft 
driven by two 39-in. New American 
turbines. Woodward governors are 
here used, made by the Woodward 
Governor Co., Rockport, 111. The 
generators, including exciters and 
switchboard, were furnished by the 
Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co. 
These generators are designed to de- 
liver three-phase 60-cycle current at 
600 volts, and have sufficient capacity 
to maintain full-load conditions at 80 
per cent, power factor. Their speed 
is 150 rev. per min. Of the total of 
2400 kw., 1400 kw. is to be available 
for transmission to and use at the 
new Shawmut Mills, situated two 
miles distant. 

The switchboard upon which are all 
the controlling switches for the cir- 

•Jauf/i Eicl/trlion 


five miles above Columbus, Ga., on 
the Chattahoochee River. At this 
point the river is nearly 1600 ft. wide. 
From the reports of the U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey, the minimum flow 
recorded is about 800 cubic feet per 
second. Taking everything into con- 
sideration it was decided to develop 
the privilege for a flow of 3000 cubic 
feet per second. The normal head is 
13 ft., which may be increased by the 
use of flash boards to 16 ft. 

The power-house is built directly 
on a rock foundation, concrete being 
the material used up to the level of 

kw. units are driven by turbines of 
the same make. The above turbines 
are of the cylinder gate type, so de- 
signed as to have their racks and 
pinions out of water and accessible 
for lubrication. The remaining 550- 
kw. unit is driven by two Samson 
turbines used in the old development. 
The total capacity of the water wheels 
at 13-ft. head (without flash boards) 
is about 3250 h.p., which will require 
a flow of a little more than 300 cubic 
feet per second. Each unit of the new 
turbine installation is controlled by a 
Lombard type "N" governor, made 

cuits to the Langdale and Shawmut 
Mills is located near the center of the 
power-house in the exciter bay. Cur- 
rent for the Shawmut Mills leaves the 
main switchboard at 600 volts and 
passes to the transformers in the 
tower at one end of the building, 
where it is stepped up to 11,000 volts. 
At the receiving end it is stepped 
down again to 600 volts for use with 
the motors. 

There are four 500-kw. transform- 
ers at each end of the transmission 
line, three for regular use and one for 
a spare. These transformers are con- 



March, 1909 

trolled from a selector panel on both 
high and low-tension sides, so that 
in case of accident the extra can be 
quickly cut into the place of any one 
of the others. 

The transmission line is of two 
B. & S. copper wire spaced 30 in. 
on centers. At each end is installed 
a high-tension oil-switch, and in ad- 
dition to a set of lightning arresters 
a grounded galvanized cable is car- 
ried along the conduit for its entire 
length as a double protection. The 
transformers inside the power house 
and all points of high-tension circuit 
under cover are installed in separate 
fireproof rooms. 

The lighting at Langdale is secured 
by transforming down from the gen- 
erator current at 600 volts to the 
lighting voltage in the yard. All high- 
tension , switches, lightning arresters, 
and all mill motors, together with 
their switches, auto-starters, were fur- 
nished by the General Electric Co. 
The transmission lines and all wiring 
was furnished and erected by the 
Carter & Gillespie Electric Co., At- 
lanta, Ga. 

The station floor is located 10 ft. 
above the crest of the dam, and this 
is well above the level of the severest 

The work has been designed with 
the maximum high-water conditions 
in mind, and no expense has been 
spared to make this station the best 
equipped of any in the South for the 
purpose in view. 

B. H. Hardaway, of Columbus, Ga., 
was the contractor for the station 
foundations and dam construction, 
and the J. F. Gallivan Building Co., 
Grenville, S. C, built the super- 
structure of the station, part of the 
dam and the small parts of the mis- 
cellaneous work incidental to the fin- 
ishing of the job. 

General News 

The tungsten lamp patent fraud 
case has ended with Barton, the dis- 
missed examiner, getting three years 
in the penitentiary and Everding, the 
outside accomplice, two years. 

A bill has been introduced into the 
Montana Legislature empowering the 
corporate authorities of any city in 
that state to regulate rates and 
charges for water, gas and electricity 
to residents. 

The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Com- 
pany, after many years of promise and 
endeavor, has at last declared a quar- 
terly dividend of one per cent., pay- 
able April 1st. The company hopes 
to continue to pay dividends, but has 
not. definitely committed itself. 

The municipal gas and pumping 
plant of Fairfield, Iowa, has been sold 
by the city to a private concern at a 
price considerably below its original 
cost. It is said that the depreciation 
on the plant is so great that $50,000 
will soon have to be expended in re- 
newals and repairs. 

It is said that the Connecticut River 
Company has completed its plans for 
a dam between Windsor Locks and 
Endfield, which will enable it to de- 
velop about 10,000 h.p. without inter- 
fering with any navigation projects. 
The power generated will be sold for 
industrial service throughout the ad- 
jacent territory. 

The Metropolitan Electric Com- 
pany, of Reading, Pa., is about to re- 
construct its powerhouse, transmis- 
sion and distribution system in order 
to meet the increasing demand for a 
current for light and power purposes. 
The new plant will cost about $1,- 
750,000, and will be provided for by 
the issuing of five per cent, thirty-year 

The United States Government is to 
bring suit against the Truckee River 
General Electric Company, the Cali- 
fornia-Nevada Electric Power Com- 
pany and other parties to acquire pos- 
session of a certain tract of land at 
the outlet of Lake Tahoe, which is 
necessary to carry out the irrigation 
plans of the Reclamation Service. 

The Mexican Northern Power 
Company has been organized by a 
group of Canadian capitalists for the 
development of hydraulic and irrigat- 
ing rights in the northern part of 
Mexico. The company expects to de- 
velop 30,000 h.p., and will have a cap- 
ital stock of $10,000,000 and an au- 
thorized bond issue of $7,500,000, of 
which $5,000,000 have already been 
subscribed. G. F. Greenwood, until 
recently general manager of the Ha- 
vana Electric Co., is president, and W. 
F. Tye, late chief engineer of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway, is consult- 
ing engineer. 

The Electric Storage Battery Com- 
pany announces that it has recently re- 
ceived a contract from the New York 
Edison Company for the installation 
of a battery at the 16th Street sub- 
station, which will be the largest 
central-station battery ever installed. 
It will consist of 150 cells, and has a 
capacity of 22,000 amperes for one 
hour at about 120 volts. It will be 
used for emergency service, and will 
be equipped with a set of the Storage 
Battery Company's economically con- 
trolled high-speed and cell switches. 

This is the forty-first battery of this 
make installed by the New York Edi- 

son Company, the total capacity of all 
these batteries now being nearly 
193,000 amperes for one hour at 120 

The Supreme Court of Massachu- 
setts has reaffirmed the decision of the 
lower court, made over a year ago, re- 
garding the New York, New Haven 
& Hartford Railroad Company's own- 
ership of certain trolley lines in that 
State. The railroad company must 
dispose of all of its holdings in these 
companies before July, 1909. It is 
understood that this action is based on 
special circumstances, and the question 
of its wider application remains open 
for the present. 

The New York, New Haven & 
Hartford Railroad is now in full pos- 
session of its electrical equipment, 
which was turned over to the com- 
pany on Feb. 1st. Up to that time the 
Western Electric Manufacturing Com- 
pany had kept a small force of men 
at the Cos Cob shops, which was en- 
gaged for the most part in making 
certain changes and improvements in 
the 35 electric locomotives that were 
bought on the original order. This 
force has now been withdrawn, and 
the railroad company's employes have 
full charge. 

The General Electric Company and 
the Siemens-Schuckert Company, of 
Germany, are to construct a high- 
speed electrical railway between Co- 
logne and Diisseldorf. According to 
the plan, as at present outlined, there 
will be no terminal station, but the 
trains will run through the streets into 
the center of each town. Within the 
city limits the speed of the trains will 
be kept down to eight miles an hour, 
but the contractors undertake that the 
entire distance of 40 miles between 
the two cities shall be covered in 40 

At a recent annual meeting of the 
Western Electric Company it was an- 
nounced that the earnings of the fiscal 
year ending Nov. 30, 1908, showed a 
large decrease as compared with 1907. 
It was stated, however, that owing to 
the energetic sales campaign which 
the company had carried on, some de- 
partments of the concern had been 
kept fairly busy. The total number 
of orders received in 1908 was about 
20 per cent, larger than for the previ- 
ous year, but the average value of the 
order was only $47, as against an 
average value of $98 for the year 
1907. The debts of the company have 
been reduced about $6,000,000 during 
the year, and on Dec. 1st amounted to 
about $11,500,000. The cash in hand 
and bills receivable amounted to $5,- 
000,000 more than the total indebted- 

March, 1909 



Vacuum Testing' Apparatus 

An ingenious method of testing the 
degree of vacuum in incandescent 
lamps has been devised by the Dyer 
Machine Company, of Lynn, Mass. It 
is based on the well-known fact that 
the color of the electrical discharges 
through a gas in an enclosed vessel is 
modified by its density, i.e., by the 
degree of vacuum in the vessel. The 
discharge is furnished by a high-po- 
tential coil, a terminal of which is 
connected to the lamp to be tested. 
The general arrangement is shown in 
the cut. The air or other gas within 
the bulb becomes luminous and glows 
with its characteristic color. The re- 
sults are as follows : 

i. A lamp which is completely full 
of air cannot be made to glow. 

2. A lamp containing a consider- 
able amount of air shows purple 
streamers branching from the filament 
to the glass, and is probably cracked, 
and will burn out in an hour or two. 

3. A red glow uniformly distributed 
throughout the bulb indicates a better 
vacuum than the above. This lamp 
contains some air and the candle- 
power will drop very rapidly, probably 
to 10 c-p. within an hour. 

4. A lamp with a white glow with 
the slightest tint of pink close to the 
glass is slightly better than the above. 

5. A lamp with a whitish glow, but 
showing the filament very distinctly 
and with a marked glow about the 
joints, while containing a better 
vacuum than the above is still a very 
poor lamp and will deteriorate very 

6. A lamp with a white glow uni- 
formly distributed throughout the bulb 
may burn a hundred or two hours 
without burning out but the candle- 
power will drop rapidly. 

7. A lamp with a thin, whitish glow 
more or less intermittent and some- 
times hard to start is a lamp which 
most lamp manufacturers pass as O. 

K. After such a lamp has burned for 
about half an hour the glow will usu- 
ally be found to have disappeared. 
Such a lamp will drop in candle-power 
much more rapidly than a lamp with 
a perfect vacuum. 

8. A lamp which shows an inter- 
mittent flicker of light on the inside 
surface of the bulb contains a very 
good vacuum. Such lamps are uni- 
versally passed as excellent by lamp 

9. A lamp which shows no glow 
whatever possesses a still higher de- 
gree of vacuum than the above, and 
as this "glow test" is the most severe 
test known for vacuum it is as high 
as the lamp manufacturer can obtain 
and such lamps may be considered 

Selective Radiation of Incandes- 
cent Lamps 

The February meeting of the New 
York Section of the Illuminating 
Engineering Society was held on Feb- 
ruary nth in the Engineering So- 
cieties Building, the small attendance 
being in a measure offset by the num- 
ber of prominent men present. 

A paper entitled "Selective Emission 
of Incandescent Lamps as Determined 
by New Photometric Methods," by E. 
P. Hyde, F. E. Cade and G. W. 
Middlekauff, was read by the first- 
named, and this abstruse subject was 
presented in such a manner as to be 
readily understood by all. 

The authors investigated seven 
kinds of filaments by the method which 
was first outlined by Holborn in his 
original description of the Holborn 
pyrometer, and which was subse- 
quently applied by Drs. Waidner and 
Burgess in their recent work, "Pre- 
liminary Measurements on Temper- 
ature and ■ Selective Radiation of In- 
candescent Lamps," and the result of 
the investigation are given in Tables 
1, 2 and 3. 


Types of Filament 

Red Black 



Per Cent 



for 1 % 


in Watts. 




Untreated carbon . . . 

1420 C. 









Treated carbon 


1 05 


1 28 


1 85 

lumens, per watt range from unity to 

If there were no relative selectivity, 
the lumens per watt would be unity 
for every type. There is marked evi- 
dence, therefore, that there is consid- 
erable selectivity among the different 
types of filaments, and it is quite inter- 
esting to note the order in which the 
filaments arrange themselves. A 
higher value of lumens per watt, as, 


Types of Filament 

Red Black 



Per Cent 



for 1% 


in Watts. 




Untreated carbon. . . 


Treated carbon 



1680 C. 







. 0.84 







for example, the value of 1.85 for the 
osmium lamps, as compared with 1.00 
for the untreated carbon filaments has 
the same distribution of energy in the 
visible spectrum as the untreated car- 
bon filament, the energy curve of the 
osmium lamp drops off considerably 
in the infra-red as compared with the 
energy curve of the untreated carbon. 
In other words, the osmium radiates 



Red Black 


Per Cent 


Types of Filament 

for 1% 


in Watts. 

Untreated carbon. . . 

1890 C. 







Treated carbon 








Tantalum . 











Thus, from the data given it will be 
noted that when these various types 
of filaments have the same distribution 
of energy in the visible spectrum, the 

selectively in favor of shorter wave- 
lengths, that is, in favor of the visible 
spectrum, and is, therefore, a more 
efficient luminous radiator than an un- 
treated carbon filament. 

The authors have been unable to 
determine the true temperature at 
which a color match with a black body 
can be obtained with any material ex- 
cept platinum, and, therefore, they are 
unable to state as to what extent the 
higher efficiency of the metallic fila- 
ments is due to selective radiation, al- 
though the results would indicate that 
in the case of osmium from 30 to 40 
per cent, of the increased efficiency 
over a carbon-filament lamp is due to 
selective radiation. 



March, 1909 

Questions and Answers 

Ouestion. — In stringing overhead 
electric lines, where telephone or tele- 
graph zvires are on the same poles, 
which should be above? Give rea- 

Answer. — High tension wires, such 
as those for series work and primary 
circuits, should always be placed 
above telegraph and telephone circuits. 

Low-tension wires may, with ad- 
vantage, be placed below or above 
them, as may be most convenient. 
This depends largely on the relative 
numbers of the different kinds of 
wires on the poles. In either case, 
there should be a good clearance be- 
tween the groups. 

The reasons for carrying the 
slenderer telegraph or telephone con- 
ductors below the high-tension wires 
are obvious. They are more liable to 
trouble and breakage than the high- 
tension wires, and if dropped across 
the latter would lead high-tension cur- 
rent into offices and residences over 
wires having low-insulation resistance, 
and the results to the public might- 
be very serious. On the other hand, 
if telephone or telegraph wires break- 
ing fall on low-tension conductors, 
they will simply be burned off, if the 
insulation is bad. If the insulation 
is good, the trouble on the telephone 
line will probably be corrected be- 
fore anything further happens. 

Another reason for placing the 
telephone or telegraph wires below is 
that the lineman for these circuits will 
not have to climb through high-ten- 
sion wiring. 

Still another reason is that there 
are more changes being made in tele- 
phone and telegraph wires, especially 
in the former, than in high-tension 
circuits, and there is less risk in at- 
tending to this work if the high-ten- 
sion wires are above. 

Ouestion. — A statement has been 
made that an iron bar driven into the 
earth makes a better ground for a 
lightning arrester than an iron pipe of 
the same length and area, the reason 
given being that the pipe acts like a 
choke coil, and therefore offers more 
resistance to the passage of the light- 
ning discharge than does the bar. Is 
there anything in this claim? 

_ Answer. — We think not. Either the 
pipe or bar, if driven sufficiently far 
into the ground to insure contact to 
permanently damp earth, will make a 
satisfactory ground. In fact, the 
pipe might be considered as more ad- 
vantageous, because of the larger sur- 
face in contact with the earth, due to 
its larger diameter. In either case, 
the main point is to reach damp 
earth, and to be sure that the ground 
lead is properly and permanently at- 
tached to the pipe or bar. 

We think that the claim that the 
pipe ground acts as a choke coil came 
from the practice of permitting the 
pipe to enclose the ground wire from 
a depth of, say, a few inches under 
ground to a height of 6 or 7 ft. above 
the ground. This is the arrangement 
that would give the choke effect un- 
less the precaution is taken to me- 
tallically connect the ground wire and 
the pipe. Otherwise the arrangement 
of the ground wire with its insulation 
and the pipe surrounding it forms a 
condenser, which would have the ef- 
fect of materially increasing the re- 
sistance to discharge. 

Question. — (a) Are transformers 
in which the oil is not up to the full 
level any more apt to be struck by 
lightning than those in which it is? 
If so, why? (b)How often should 
oil be changed? 

Answer.; — (a) A transformer which 
has not its full amount of oil is no 
more apt to be struck by lightning 
than any other transformer. It is, 
however, very much more apt to be 
injured when it is struck than one 
which is properly filled, and so more 
liable to come to the notice of the 
operator. • The reason is that the 
principal strain in a transformer from 
a lightning stroke comes on the first 
turns adjacent to the lead by which 
the discharge enters. Now, in most 
transformers the leads go out at the 
top, and when the oil is unduly low 
so that a portion of the coils is ex- 
posed to the air, the condition arises 
that the very part of a transformer 
most exposed to the strain has the 
weakest insulation. This being the 
case, the natural result is indicated by 
records which show that on systems 
operating transformers with the oil at 
various levels nearly all the burn-outs 
from lightning occur in transformers 
with less than the normal quantity of 
oil. These being weakest let go first. 

(b) When it becomes necessary. 
The oil in transformers should be 
regularly inspected at intervals. Just 
how often these inspections should be 
made depends upon the climatic and 
other local conditions. When the in- 
spector finds that oil is wet or dirty 
it should be changed at once. A good 
way to determine if there is moisture 
in the oil is to lower a glass tube into 
the case with the finger on the upper 
end. When the lower , end of the 
tube reaches the bottom of the case 
raise the finger, when a little oil will 
flow into the bottom of the tube, and 
by closing the upper end an unmixed 
sample of the oil at bottom of the 
case may be obtained. There are sev- 
eral well-known and simple tests for 
moisture in the oil which can be ap- 
plied to the sample. 

Question. — (a) Hozv is a meter 
rated? (b) If it is correct on light 
loads, will it be so on half and full 

Answer. — (a) Meters are rated ac- 
cording to the load they are designed 
to measure. Ordinary types of di- 
rect-current meters, in common with 
other meters, are liable to overheat if 
too much energy is passed through 
them. Overloads may also injure the 
meter magnetically. 

The best meters are designed with 
liberal overload limits. At the same 
time there must be a limit, and most 
companies have fixed this at 50 per 
cent. In some cases they have been 
known to stand very much greater 
overloads, but the practice of causing 
them to do so for any great length 
of time is not to be commended. 

(b) It does not follow that the 
meter which is correct at low loads 
will be so at half or full load. The 
probability that it will be depends on 
the causes of variation in that par- 
ticular design of meter. 

The control of accuracy of the 
meter at different points on the load 
curve varies with the make and type, 
so that nothing certain can be said 
in this connection without knowing 
what sort of meter is under discus- 

Question. — What is the effect of 
sinking a wire into a slot in the lami- 
nated iron core of an armature? 

Answer. — On a smooth core arma- 
ture the conductors are not entirely 
surrounded with iron, and the force 
between them and the magnetic field 
in which they move is exerted largely 
upon them, as well as upon the iron 
upon which they rest. This force 
tends to cause the conductors to slip 
over the surface of the armature. If 
the conductors are sunk into slots in 
the core they then have iron on three 
sides instead of one, and are also ef- 
fectively prevented from slipping. 
Most of the pull is now exerted on 
the teeth between the slots and the 
construction is thus much stronger 
mechanically and magnetically. Also 
by placing the conductor in the slots 
the air gap between the armature and 
the fill may be reduced to a minimum, 
which means a more economical ex- 
citation. The disadvantage of sink- 
ing a wire into the slot is that the 
self-induction of the armature coil is 
increased, and this tends to defective 
commutation, but in the best modern 
machines these difficulties have been 
successfully overcome. 

The National Electric Light Asso- 
ciation will hold its 32d annual con- 
vention at Atlantic City, June 1st, 2d 
and 3d. 

March, 1909 



The 110,000 -Volt Transmission 
Line of The Grand Rapids- 

Mushegon Power Company 

Considerable interest has been 
aroused by the 110,000-volt transmis- 
sion line of the Grand Rapids Power. 
Company which, now that it has been 
operating satisfactorily for six months, 
has proved the entire practicability of 
this voltage for long-distance electric 
transmission of power. This trans- 
mission line runs between Grand 
Rapids and the Croton Dam, Mich- 
igan, and is 50 miles in length, and is 
carried on triangular steel towers 
which are approximately 53 ft. in 
height over all and 43 ft. 8 in. from 
the ground to the lowest cross-arm, 
and which were designed to give a 
40-ft. clearance between the line wire 
and ground. The towers shown in 
Figs. 1 and 2 weigh approximately 
1700 lbs. each and provide a minimum 
spacing between the insulator hangers 

stranded hard-drawn copper wire with 
hemp center. The lines are spaced 8 


of 8 ft. ; they are placed on large con- 
crete anchors buried in the ground, 
and are spaced 528 ft. apart on tan- 
gents. The anchors consist of 3-in. 
angle steel, 7 ft. 10 in. long, encased 
in concrete. The anchors each extend 
about 10 in. below the bottom of the 
concrete in which they are encased, 
thus securing a ground for the trans- 
mission line. 

The insulators are of the standard 
General Electric disk pattern, the sus- 
pension type being used for a straight 
support and the strain type for pull-off 
curves. Five of these 10-in. disks 
are used in series, the arrangement be- 
ing very clearly shown in Fig. 3. 
Each disk is rated at 25,000 volts. 

The line transmits 10,000 kw., the 
conductors consisting of No. 2 


ft. apart and are entirely without 
transposition throughout the whole 
length. No guard wire is used. 

The lines are brought into the sta- 
tions through porcelain insulators and 
are connected directly to the high- 
tension transformers, which are delta- 
connected on both sides. There are 
no switches of any kind, the control 
being by means of generator field 

The pressure was first applied to 
the transmission line on July 18, 1908, 
and it was noticed that the line was a 
little noisy at the working pressure of 
110,000 volts, while at night the at- 
mospheric discharge was distinctly 
visible. Wattmeter ratings on the 

empty line, after deducting the core 
losses of the step-up transformers, 
seemed to indicate a constant loss on 
the 50 miles of line of from 20 to 
25 kw. 



Drying Transformer Oil 

The weakening effect of the pres- 
ence of even a small amount of mois- 
ture on the insulating value of trans- 
former is well known. A small frac- 
tion of a per cent, of moisture may re- 
duce the insulation to a fraction of its 

value when the oil is perfectly dry. 
There are a number of different ways 
of separating the water, nearly all of 
which depend on the introduction of 
some water-absorbing agent such as 
dry air. Chemists, however, have long 
known that sodium in the metallic 
form has a great affinity for water, 
and have used it to remove the last 
traces of moisture from substances 
under treatment. Recent experiments 
have shown that this agent can be used 
to remove more than the last trace of 

In transformer oil it will sink un- 
less dragged to the surface by hydro- 
gen gas. With water it reacts to form 
caustic soda and hydrogen. If very 
much water is present the caustic soda 
dissolves and in the presence of oil 
forms a second layer. If very little 
water is present the caustic soda is 
formed on the surface of the metallic 
sodium and may be removed when re- 
moving the sodium. When the so- 
dium surface becomes covered with 
caustic, it is advisable to remelt under 
oil, not letting the temperature rise 
above 120 C. (248 F.). After cool- 
ing and getting into the shape desired, 
it is again ready for use for drying 
more oil. Sodium should always be 
kept under a good transformer oil. 
One method which has been used with 
some transformer oils has been as fol- 
lows : 

The oil on the granulated sodium is 
poured off and a good transformer oil 
poured over the metal. To the oil 
which is to be treated, and which is 
put into an open tank or barrel, the 
sodium is added at first very carefully, 
about one ounce to the barrel. If 
much hydrogen is evolved, this will be 
conclusive proof that there is much 
water in the oil, and the balance of the 
sodium should be added carefully and 
in small amounts. The amount which 
is to be added depends upon the oil, 
but as a rule one .pound to the barrel 
is usually much more than is required. 
The oil is then stirred up three or four 
times a day for a minute at a time. 
After several days the oil may be re- 
moved and tested, but the longer it 
remains over the sodium the better it 
oil becomes. 

Another method used is to put the 
sodium in the form of sticks in a cyl- 
inder of iron wire of about 28 mesh 
and hang the cylinder in the oil. This 
method may be used directly with the 
static transformer which is in use. 
The only precautions required being 
those familiar to all electricians in the 
avoidance of short circuits. 

The result of the above treatment 
has been to raise the breaking point 
of a given sample of oil from 3000 
volts to 20,000 or higher. This has 
been done on a large scale by some of 
the great power companies at Niagara. 

The February Technical Press 

Leading Articles of General Technical Interest 


"The White Coal of Sweden,"' John 
George Leigh. 

A carefully-written article on the 
water development of Sweden pro- 
fusely illustrated and provided with 
maps and tables. Among the notable 
features described are a rigid govern- 
mental control, and the great variety 
of industries which are supplied by 
the hydro-electric companies. 

The horse-power of water-driven 
generators now installed reaches 176,- 
000, which is considerably more than 
the nation's total generator power 
from steam-driven plants. — Cas. Mag. 

"Railroad Electrification," Philip 
A general discussion of the present 
status of the electrification of steam 
railroads throughout the world. The 
records of the single-phase, polyphase 
and direct-current lines are given, and 
the writer concludes that in general 
the single-phase system will be 
adopted on main-line work outside all 
terminal stations. — Elec. Rev. (Lon- 

"Trolley Development in the United 
States," G. E. Walsh. 

A paper describing the principal 
features of and discussing the future 
developments of interurban railroads 
in the United States. 

-Cas. Mag. 

Detail Apparatus 

"Application of Automatic Controll- 
ers," D. E. Carpenter. 

Continues description of the latest 
forms of controller for direct-current 
motors. — Elec. Jour. 

"Meter and Relay Connections," Har- 
old W. Brown. 
Continues series giving diagrams 
showing the connections of different 
types of meters. — Elec. Jour. 

Electric Rail-ways 

"Automatic Electric Railway Signals," 
Wm. K. Waldron. 

An account of the latest develop- 
ment in electric railway signals for 
third-rail direct-current roads as man- 
ufactured by the Union Switch and 
Signal Co., of Swissvale, Pa. — Elec. 

"Power Plant Extension of the Boston 
Elevated R.R. Company." 
Tells of the growth of the power- 
station requirements of this well- 
known road, and describes some fea- 
tures of the new additions to the Lin- 
coln Wharf and the Hartford Stations. 
— Elec. Ry. Jour. 


"The Development of a Small Road." 

A description of the organization 
and the management of the Sheboy- 
gan Light, Power & Railroad Com- 
pany, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and 
a story of the methods used in the 
road's development. — Elec. Ry. Jour. 

"The Montreux - Bernese Oberland 
Railroad." B. F. Herschauer. 

An illustrated description of a 40- 
mile, 750-volt, direct-current railroad 
in western Switzerland. The road has 
heavy grades, and a combination of 
vacuum and electro-magnetic track 
brakes are used for train control. — ■ 
Elec. Rev. 


"Commercial Department of Roches- 
ter Railway & Light Company," 
Wm. H. Stuart. 

A description of the methods of a 
progressing company in handling 
complaints, advertising and rate 
charging. Curves and tables of rates 
and discounts are given. — Elec. Wld. 

"Financial Problems Confronting the 
Boston Elevated R.R. Company," 
C. S. Sergeant. 

A full and authoritative discussion 
of the financial problem as it presents 
itself under the conditions obtaining 
in Boston. A chart is given showing 
the relation of expense to gross in- 
come from 1888 to 1908. The con- 
clusion is obvious that with the in- 
crease in the cost of operating the sys- 
tem, and the constantly increasing 
fixed charges, no lessening in the price 
of the company's service is to be 
thought of, as all profit figures show 
a material reduction during the last 
few years. — Elec. Ry. Jour. 

"The Economical Development of Toll 
Territory," Frank R. Fowle. 

The writer finishes his discussion of 
the latest methods of handling a tele- 
phone territory. — Elec. Rev. 

"The Problem of Reducing Accident 
Damages," F. W. Johnson. 
Continues the discussion of the lat- 
est methods of preventing street car 
accidents by educating the public con- 
cerning certain common-sense pre- 
cautions to be used in street car travel. 
— Elec. Ry. Jour. 

Measurements and Tests 

"Comparative Tests of Transform- 
ers," A. C. Scott. 

An account of a test of the trans- 
formers of five leading manufacturers, 
both of the shell and core type variety. 
A page of curves giving results of the 

test in the shape of efficiency, tempera- 
ture rise and core loss for the five 
shows the variation in the practice of 
different designers. The efficiency 
curves are the most similar and all 
come well within the standard require- 
ments of the A. L. E. E.—Elec. Wld. 

"Testing Outfits for College Labora- 
tories," E. P. Edwards. 

A description of the various types 
of generators, transformers and other 
electrical apparatus developed for la- 
boratory use. The distinguishing 
feature of these experimental ma- 
chines is their great flexibility. Thus 
one machine is designed to operate as 
a rotary converter, double-current 
generator, direct-current generator, 
alternating-current generator, direct- 
current motor, synchronous motor and 
an inverted rotary. — Gen. Elec. Rev. 

Power Plants 

"A Low Head Hydro-electric Devel- 
opment," S. Rice. 
A description of an interesting 
plant at Milford, Me., which develops 
12,000 h.p. under a 20-ft. head. — 

"A 60-Cycle, Gas-Driven Power Sta- 
tion," J. R. Bibbins. 
A record of the operating experi- 
ence of a 500-kw. gas-driven plant of 
the Union Switch and Signal Com- 
pany, near Pittsburgh, and a descrip- 
tion of the new plant being erected 
there, illustrated with indicator cards 
and other records of the plant. A 
table of the cost of power with fuel at 
15 cents per 1000 cu. ft., and a loading 
factor of 50 per cent., gives total oper- 
ating cost at 0.58 cents per kilowatt- 
hour and a total cost of 0.71 cents per 
kilowatt-hour. — Elec. Jour. 

"Italian Power Plants," S. 0. Hayes. 
The illustrated description of vari- 
ous power plants in northern Italy, 
covering especially the switchboard 
practice there in force. Some of these 
were illustrated in the December issue 
of The Electrical Age. — Elec. Jour. 

"Kokomo, Marion & Western Trac- 
tion Co.," Alfred Cummins. 
A description of the new lighting 
and power plant of the above com- 
pany which is interesting, as an ex- 
ample of the very best type of a. mod- 
ern power plant. — Ind. Prog. 

"McCall's Ferry ' Hydro-E 1 e c t r i c 
Power Development." 
An illustrated description of the 
hydraulic features and power-house 
building of the big McCall's Ferry 
power plant, 40 miles north of Balti- 
more. — Elec. Rev. 

March, 1909 



"Representative Data from Electric 
Power Plant Operation," H. S. 
A careful. study of the cost of pro- 
ducing power in seven cities of New 
England showing how local conditions 
affect the total operating cost in the 
cases given which cover large central 
stations. The total operating cost 
varies from .82 to 1.62 per kilowatt- 
hour. The vital importance of keep- 
ing accurate records is emphasized. — 
Eng. Mag. 

"The Urft Valley Energy Transmis- 
sion Plant." 
An illustrated account of a well- 
designed hydraulic transmission plant 
in Southern Germany. A fine sample 
of the best quality of recent work 
abroad. — Elec. Wld. — 

Prime Movers 

"Modern British High-Speed En- 
gines," J. Davidson. 
Describes the latest work of the 
British manufacturer in high-speed 
engines for direct-connection to gen- 
erators. The performance, curves and 
records given compare favorably with 
those of similar machines in this 
country. — Power. 

"Modern Steam Condensing Appa- 
ratus," J. B. Foster. 

A description of the various im- 
provements in the steam condenser 
forced by the development of the 
steam turbine. — Ind. Prog. 

"Surface Condensers for Steam Tur- 
bines," E. Josse. 

A discussion of the performance of 

a well-designed condenser and its 

auxiliaries. Gives the results of a 

series of condenser tests made at 

. Charlotteburg, Germany. — Power. 


"Alternating Currents and Their Ap- 
plication," Edson R. Wolcott. 
Continues through the month, being 
devoted principally to various types of 
transformers. — Elec. Rev. 

"Energy in a Pound of Steam," Fred 
R. Low. 
Analyses the energy contained in a 
pound of steam, giving curves and 
tables showing the changes produced 
in expanding from 150 lbs. pressure to 
2jy 2 inches of vacuum. — Power. 

"Heat Conductivity in the Equaliza- 
tion of Furnaces," Carl Hering. 
An investigation of the conductivity 
of various materials used in furnace 
walls, and suggestions for improving 
their heat insulating qualities. — Elec- 
Chem. & Met. Ind. 

"Short Circuits in Alternators," E. J. 
A study of the action of well-de- 
signed alternating-current generators 
on shirt circuit. It is well illustrated 
with oscillographic records. — Gen. 
Elec. Rev. 

"Solid Rectifiers," G. W. Packard. 

A description of experimental work 
on the little known subject of the uni- 
lateral conduction of certain solids. A 
curve is given showing the character- 
istics of various solid rectifiers. The 
writer concludes that at present there 
is no satisfactory theory for an ex- 
planation of these phenomena, and 
calls attention to the possibilities that 
are contained in their further study. — 
Elec Rev. 

"Thermodynamics," Chas. P. Stein- 

Continues the discussion of the 
equation of molecular motion. — Gen. 
Elec. Rev. 

"Variable Ratio-Convertors," Chas. P. 

The fourth of a series of articles 
dealing with the equations used in the 
design of the split-pole convertor. — 
Gen. Elec. Rev. 


"Electric Transmission," Alton D. 
An article giving a general descrip- 
tion of long-distance high-tension 
transmission development in various 
parts of the earth, and a curve show- 
ing the relation between the length 
and voltage of transmission lines of 
some of the principal systems. — Cas. 


"Industrial Engineering," H. W. 

A practical paper in the application 
of the motor to machine tool work, 
cotton-mill drive and other typical in- 
dustries that are furnished with 
power by the Rochester Railroad and 
Light Company, to which the author 
is electrical engineer. — Elec. Jour. 

"Series Tungsten Lighting," Henry 

An article on the features of the 
series tungsten lamp, with curves and 
tables illustrating the performance and 
economies of this form of lighting. — 
Elec Rev. 

"Street Lighting for Interurban Ry. 
Currents," G. N. Chamberlain. 

This paper describes the most up- 
to-date method of street lighting from 
railway circuits by means of the mag- 
netite arc lamp. — Gen. Elec. Rev. 

"Street Lighting in Rio Janeiro," A. 
H. Keleher. 

A well-illustrated description of the 
way the public lighting of Brazil's 
metropolis has been handled. No city, 
save perhaps Berlin or Mexico, is bet- 
ter lighted.— Elec. Wld. 


"Development of the Surface Con- 
densers," W. O. Rodgers. 

A well-illustrated article giving the 
history of the surface condenser from 
the time of Watt down to the present. 
— Power. 

"High Pressure Steam Piping Sys- 
tem," Wm. F. Fischer. 
A practical article relating to the va- 
rious points to be considered in the de- 
sign of a high-pressure steam-piping 
system including the ever-present ex- 
pansion and vibration problems. — 

"The Manhattan High Pressure Fire 

The well-illustrated description of 
the New York high-pressure fire serv- 
ice which is operated from electrical 
centrifugal pumps. — Ind. Prog. 

A. Combination Volt-Ammeter 

A compact little instrument for the 
measurement of voltages from zero to 
six, and of currents up to 30 amperes, 
is being turned out by the Connecticut 
Telephone & Electric Company, Inc., 
Meriden, Conn. The voltmeter side 
is primarily designed for storage bat- 

tery tests ; the ammeter side for test- 
ing dry and wet batteries. The 1909 
type has an etched medal instead of 
the paper one generally used, and the 
entire interior construction has been 
improved, it now being made up on 
the dead beat principle. The meter is 
accurate, durable and very reasonable 
in price, and should find a large appli- 



March, 1909 

News Notes 

The Holophane Co., of New York, 
in its latest bulletin calls attention to 
the increasing use of its product in 
factories, clothing stores and in other 
classes of industrial services. 

Catalogue F of the Hart and Hege- 
man Manufacturing Company, of 
Hartford, Conn., gives cuts and illus- 
trations of the many high-class 
types of switch and wire details manu- 
factured by this company. The at- 
tached views show details of their new 
floor plug. 

The Nernst Lamp Company has 
secured the contract for lighting the 
large, fireproof, steel, brick and stone 
department store of McFadden Broth- 
ers, of Wheeling, W. Va. This build- 
ing will be lighted throughout by the 
single glower Westinghouse Nernst 
lamp, mounted on special three-arm 

The National Electric Contractor's 
Association will hold its annual con- 
vention in Toledo, July 21st, 22d and 
23d. The program will include a ban- 
quet and other entertainment features, 
in addition to the usual discussion of 
subjects pertaining to the trade. It 
is expected that between 300 and 400 
electrical contractors will be in attend- 

The Stave Electric Company, of 
New York, is establishing a number 
of branches throughout the West for 
pushing the sales of the flaming arc 
lamp, of which it is the importer. 
Offices are being opened in Chicago, 
Pittsburgh, Davenport, Cleveland, 
Philadelphia and Indianapolis. The 
company reports a lively interest in 
flaming arc lamps throughout the 
west. . 

The annual convention of the 
branch managers of the Crocker- 
Wheeler Company was held at Am- 
pere, N. J., Feb. 8th. The same eve- 
ning the managers were entertained 
at dinner by the Machinery Club of 
New York. They report' fairly good 
business for small machinery, and that 
many projects are being considered 
for the installation of industrial 

The Spencer Turbine Cleaner Com- 
pany, of Hartford, Conn., has recently 
closed contracts for installing two of 
its cleaners in the new Fifth Avenue 
Building, at the corner of Twenty- 
third Street and Fifth Avenue, New 
York. One of these cleaners is 30 
h.p., 12 sweepers, and the other 20 h.p., 
8 sweepers. This concern will also 
place two 25 h.p., 10 sweeper cleaners 
in the Emigrant Industrial Savings 
Bank Building, New York. 

Nilson, Miller Co., of Hoboken, N. 
J., has been incorporated with capital 
of $25,000. They are located at 1300 
Hudson Street, in the shop formerly 
occupied by W. D. Forbes & Co., and 
will conduct an engineering and gen- 
eral machine shop business, making a 
specialty of designing and building, 
to order, electrical apparatus, gasoline 
engines, etc., for commercial, vehicle, 
marine and stationary use. Also ex- 
perimental work and special machin- 

Dossert & Company, of New York, 
have received an order from the Na- 
tional Electrical Supply Company, of 
Washington, D. C, for a large num- 
ber of Dossert solderless connectors, 
cable taps and terminal lugs specified 
by the Isthmian Canal Commission ; 
also an order from the San Francisco 
Gas & Electric Company for 300 cable 
taps and from the Fairbanks-Morse 
Electrical Mfg. Co., of Indianapolis, 
Ind., for 100 Dossert insulating joints. 

Among the recent orders taken by 
the Crocker-Wheeler Company, of 
Ampere, N. J., is one for a 250-kw. 
motor-generator set for the Tennessee 
Coal, Iron & Railroad Co., at Ensley, 
Ala. It will consist of a 250-kw., 275 
volt, direct-current generator driven by 
a 6600 volt, 3 phase, 25 cycle synchron- 
ous motor and will be used as an ex- 
citer. Another order is one for about 50 
h.p. of small elevator motors, pur- 
chased by the Haughton Elevator & 
Machine Co., of Toledo, Ohio. Yaw- 
man & Erbe, of Rochester, N. Y., have 
also placed orders for a number of 
2/5-h.p. motors for use on some of 
their specialties. 

Bryant Company's Fuse Adapters 

The accompanying cuts show the 
fuse adapter of the Byrant Electric 
Company, of Bridgeport, Conn. These 
adapters permit the use of National 

"Opalvix" HigH Efficiency- 

The increase in the use of high- 
efficiency lamps has presented a new 
problem in electric lighting — that of 
securing a proper diffusion of the in- 
tense light rays which are developed 
by these lamps. 

There is no economy in the use of 
a powerful light if the increased vol- 
ume of light is massed at a point 
where it is not required. It is only by 
a proper diffusion of the light which 
is furnished by the new high-effi- 
ciency lamps that real benefit is ob- 

The Pettingell-Andrews Company, 
of Boston, are now placing on the 
market an artistic glass reflector 
which they claim is especially suitable 

for high-efficiency illumination. They 
have given this reflector the trade 
name of "Opalux." The manufactur- 
ers state that "Opalux" represents a 
combination of science and art to pro- 
duce an ideal system of diffusion for 
high-efficiency lamps. 

In appearance this shade is a clear 
blue-white, with a smooth outside sur- 
face and a patented "Egg Shell" inner 
reflecting surface, making it easy to 
clean and not liable to readily become 
soiled. It is perfectly translucent, 
transmitting soft color tints that il- 
luminate the ceiling with a warm glow 
entirely free from sharp contrasts. It 
does not have sufficient direct reflec- 
tion to produce perceptible glare ; but 
gives an intense light with a brilliant 
pearly luster, slightly opalescent. 

We show herewith a cut of the Type 
S or "Bowl Shape" Reflector. The 
"Flat Shape" is also being made for 
use with very high ceilings. 

Electric Code Standard Fuses on un- 
approved bases. They thus play the 
same role in the fuse line that the 
well-known socket adapters do for 
lamp sockets. 

The Postoffice Department at New 
York City is adopting Western Elec- 
tric intercommunicating telephones as 
a time and labor-saving device. At 
the Lenox Avenue and Forty-fifth 
Street station an intercommunicating 
set with eleven stations has been in- 
stalled, and is proving highly satis- 

What is believed to be the first step 
toward equipping its whole system 
with the telephone for train dispatch- 
ing purposes has been taken by the 
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. It 
has placed an order with the Western 
Electric Company for equipment cov- 
ering 15 stations for 45 miles of cop- 
per metallic circuit. 

March, 1909 



Southern Electrical Industrial 

In view of the fact that the Southern 
Electrical and Industrial Exposition is 
to be held in Louisville, Ky., April 
1 2th to 24th, manufacturers of elec- 
trical appliances and machinery are 
particularly interested. This is due 
to the fact that the exposition is ex- 
pected to have the effect of stimulat- 
ing interest in the use of electricity, 
and to result in a much wider appreci- 
ation of its possibilities by the South. 
Exceptionally low railroad rates will 
bring a record-breaking- crowd from 
every section of the South, and will 
enable the manufacturers to reach a 
class hitherto hard to approach. 

The exposition will be held in the 
First Regiment Armory at Louisville. 
The armory has a floor space of 54,000 
sq. ft., and is the greatest building of 
the kind in the United States. It has 
no vertical supports, the roof being- 
sustained by mighty steel arches, so 
that the wide sweep of the floor is ideal 
for exhibition purposes. Many exhib- 
its have already been arranged for 
by the leading electrical manufactur- 
ing concerns of the country, and it is 
certain that the representation will be 
general. General industrial develop- 
ment will be shown, along with the 
special progress and interest attach- 
ing to the field of electricity. 

The Southern Electrical and Indus- 
trial Exposition is a successor in a way 
of the Greater Louisville Exposition, 
held in Lou'isville in 1907, when 150,- 
000 people saw the displays. Fully a 
quarter of a million, coming mainly 
from the South, will be there this time 
it is believed, and that fact makes the 
opportunity to reach them directly and 
effectively one that should not be over- 

Meetings of Illuminating' En- 
gineers' Societies 

The next meeting of the New Eng- 
land Section of the Illuminating En- 
gineering Society will be held in the 
Auditorium of the Edison Building, 39 
Boylston Street, Boston, Tuesday eve- 
ning, March 16, at 7.30 o'clock. A 
very interesting and instructive paper 
will be read on "The Simplification of 
Illumination Problems Through the 
Conception of Light Flux," by J. S. 

L. D. Gibbs, 
Secretary, N. E. Section, 

III. Eng. Society. 

The next regular meeting of the 
New York Section of the Illuminating 
Engineering Society will be held in 
the Engineering Societies Building, 
29 West 39th St., New York City, on 
Thursday, March 18th, at 8.15 P.M. 

Two papers will be presented, 

namely, "The Mathematical Theory of 
Finite Surface Light Sources," by Mr. 
Bassett Jones, Jr., and "Illuminating 
the Editorial Offices of the New York 
World," by Mr. Albert J. Marshall. 
These papers treat on both the theoret- 
ical and practical sides and will be 
taken up and discussed. 

Non-members are most cordially in- 
vited to attend and participate in the 

"Window Lighting" for Easter 

Probably no part of the lighting 
equipment of stores provides for 
greater brilliancy than that in the store 
windows*, and it is here that the high 
efficiency of the tungsten lamp has 
met with its greatest successes. 

But it is possible to still greatly in- 
crease the efficiency of this unit by 
utilizing all of the light radiated from 
the lamps in every direction and di- 
verting it to some useful direction 
with a suitable reflector. 

This is accomplished by the Wheeler 
Reflector Company's (Boston) No. 65 
Tungsten Adjustable Window Re- 
flector shown in the illustration above. 
This is mirror-lined and designed so 
that the upward radiated light is all 
reflected down, that from three sides 
forward and down, while that from 
the remaining side is radiated hori- 
zontally without interference. 

But the especial merit of this device 
is its wide range of usefulness. Every 
change in the window trimming to be 
fully effective necessitates a change in 
the direction of the light. The above 
reflector has a hinged holder which is 
attached to the stem of the fixture 
above the nozzle of the socket which 
permits the adjustment of the reflector 
to suit periodical changes in the 
window trimming, while the lamp re- 
mains fixed in a vertical position. 

Contractors meeting severe compe- 
tition can offer an effective argument 
for preference in the award of busi- 
ness by the results they can achieve by 
means of this device and the approach- 
ing Easter window displays seem to 
afford an excellent opportunity there- 
for. I 

Dean Bros.' Vertical Electric 
Well Pump 

This pump is designed for wells of 
considerable depth, where the pump 
cylinder cannot be placed on the floor 
above well. The pump cylinder is 
duplex and double-acting so that there 
are four cylinder discharges to each 
revolution* of crank shaft, thus pro- 
ducing a steady, equitable flow of 
water. The cylinder is suspended by 
rods from the base of frame at top of 
well, and is also bolted to a cross tim- 
ber fixed across the well. 


The driving head of pump is placed 
on a sub-base with the electric motor 
over well. There are two reciprocat- 
ing- piston rods that connect with the 
pump cylinder which are driven from 
cross-heads on the frame. The cross- 
heads are connected to the crank pins 
of driving-head through connecting 
rods. The crank pins are set quarter- 
ing so that the load on motor is quite 
uniform. It makes a very complete 
and efficient outfit for pumping from 
wells that are even 100 ft. deep. This 
duplex, double-acting pump is eco- 
nomical both as to first cost and ex- 
pense of operation. There are many 
places where a steam pump or a belted 
pump cannot be used. For example, 
where the well is at considerable dis- 
tance from the power-house, or where 
the only available power is electricity. 
The increasing use of electricity as a 
motive power has made it necessary 
to produce special patterns of pump- 
ing machinery for motor drive. 

An attractive folder detailing the 
excellence of its tungsten lamp has 
been issued by the Buckeye Electric 
Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. 



March, 1909 


Mr. H. E. Lavelle has severed his 
connection with the Electrical Supply 

Mr. L. A. Ferguson, President of 
the A. I. E. E., has been elected one 
of the directors-at-large of the 
Chicago Association of Commerce. 

Mr. H. A. Robbins, formerly as- 
sistant engineer of the Brooklyn 
Rapid Transit Company, has been ap- 
pointed superintendent of motive 

Clifton R. Hayes, superintendent of 
the Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light 
Company, of Fitchburg, Mass., has 
been appointed general manager of the 

Mr. L. R. McCleary, of Niagara 
Falls, New York, formerly with the 
Ontario Power Company, has been 
appointed manager of the Falls Power 
Company at Welland, Ontario. 

Governor Hughes has recommended 
Messrs. John E. Eustis and James E. 
Sague to succeed themselves in the 
Public Service Commissions of the 
First and Second districts, re- 

Mr. C. G. Young, formerly with 
J. G. White & Company, has opened 
an office as consulting engineer at 60 
Wall Street, New York City. Just 
now he is in the Far East on a busi- 
ness mission. 

Mr. P. N. Jones, electrical and 
mechanical engineer of the Pittsburg 
Railroads Company, has been ap- 
pointed general superintendent of the 
Company to succeed Mr. John 
Murphy, who becomes assistant to the 

Mr. E. G. Acheson, a well-known 
electrical engineer and inventor of 
carborundum, who is also President 
of the American Electro-Chemical 
Association, was recently made a doc- 
tor of science by the University of 

Mr. L. G. Nilson, Chief Engineer of 
Strang Gas Electric Car Co., of No. 15 
Wall Street, New York City, has been 
elected president of Nilson, Miller Co., 
of No. 1300 Hudson Street, Hoboken, 
N. J. He will continue as consulting 
engineer for the Strang Co. 

Mr. L. C. Fritch has been appointed 
consulting engineer for the Illinois 
Central Railroad, and will be in charge 
of its electrification work. Fie has 
had charge of the investigation which 
the Illinois Central has been making 
of the feasibility of electrifying the 
Chicago terminals. 

Mr. C. O. Mailloux, the well-known 
consulting engineer, who went abroad 
last fall to represent the A. I. E. E. 
at the International Electric Congress, 
at Marsailles, has returned after an 
extended trip, in the course of which 
he not only acted in a professional 
capacity for a European syndicate for 
electrical projects, but also made a 
careful study of the latest develop- 
ments in the electrical field in central 
and eastern Europe. Shortly before 
returning he delivered a course of 
lectures in Paris on electric train 
movements and the electrification of 
steam roads. 

A Handy Magnet 

Something new in the lifting mag- 
net line has just been placed on the 
market by the Cutler-Hammer Clutch 

Co., of Milwaukee, whose large lift- 
ing magnets are widely used in the 
iron and steel industries for handling 
pig-iron, scrap, etc. The new device 
is a hand-magnet weighing only about 
seven pounds but capable of lifting 
castings of from 10 to 15 times its own 

The magnet is designed for opera- 
tion on no-volt, direct-current cir- 
cuits and is furnished with drop-cord 
and attachment plug so that it may be 
readily attached to any ordinary lamp 
socket. The push-button mounted on 
top of the magnet and operated by the 
thumb closes the circuit to the coils 
and makes the magnet operative. On 
releasing the button the poles become 

demagnetized and the load is released. 

The first of these little magnets was 
built for use in the Cutler-Hammer 
Clutch Co.'s own shop, where it 
proved so useful and attracted so 
much attention from visitors that it 
was decided to manufacture it in 
quantities for the market. 

It seems to be capable of many use- 
ful applications. In machine-shops it 
is used for clearing chips and borings 
out of the machinery or removing 
them from parts of the work not easily 
accessible, as for instance, from the 
bottom of a deep cylindrical casting. 
Dropped tools, bolts, boring bars, etc., 
are easily recovered with the aid of 
the magnet from places from which it 
would be difficult to fish them by 
ordinary means. 

Booh Pvevie-w 

"Electric Motors," by Norman G. 
Mead. A compact handbook on the 
subject of the installation, care and 
management of electric motors, to- 
gether with a discussion of their 
theory, for the use of practical men. 
159 pages. McGraw Publishing Com- 
pany, $1.00 net. 

"The Principles of Alternating Cur- 
rents" for Students of Electrical En- 
gineering, by Edgar T. Larner, A. I. 
E. E., of the Engineering Department, 
General Post Office, London. This 
book is an effort to present the dis- 
cussion of alternating current prob- 
lems in a non-mathematical fashion ; 
that is, the methods involved do not 
go beyond elementary algebra. It is 
well illustrated with diagrams and will 
meet the needs of a large and increas- 
ing class of students of the subject. 
136 pages. D. Van Nostrand Com- 
pany, $1.50 net. 

"Steam Power Plant Engineering." 
By G. F. Gebhardt, Professor of Me- 
chanical Engineering at Armour In- 
stitute of Technology. This book is 
the compilation of a series of lectures 
to senior students in an engineering 
course. It is logically arranged, start- 
ing with fuels and combustion. It then 
takes up boilers and boiler-room auxil- 
iaries, coal and ash handling, natural 
and mechanical draft, continues with 
steam engines and turbines and en- 
gine-room auxiliaries, and concludes 
with a careful study of operation, 
costs and tests. Two plants, one of 
the turbine type and one of the recip- 
rocating type, are described by way of 
examples. A large number of illus- 
trations and curves and more than 110 
tables are given. The information 
furnished is well arranged and up to 
date. The book is a valuable contribu- 
tion to the literature of the subject 
and should have a wide sale. 816 
pages, John Wiley & Sons, $6.00. 


Volume XL. Number 4. 

1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy 

New York, April, 1 909 

The Electrical Age Co. 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH, Pres. C. A. HOPE, Sec. and Treas. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connecting all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, $1.00. 

Canada, $1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


insertion of new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the following issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 



Concrete Poles 81 

A New Method of Industrial Training 82 


Transformers 83 

Reinforced Concrete in Electrical Transmis- 
sion Lines 88 

The Plant Owner's and the Operating En- 
gineer's Problem 94 

Tests of Electric Meters in New York City.. 99 

Concrete Poles 

For some years past there have been 
many predictions that the time would 
come when reinforced concrete would 
supplant the use of wood and steel 
and leave the supply of those mate- 
rials free for utilization in the fields 
that are peculiarly their own. The 
shortage of the timber supply caused 
largely by the strenuous efforts made 
in the United States to burn up at 
least a few hundred million dollars' 
worth of buildings every year has been 
pushing the question more and more 
to the front. 

By means of much costly experi- 
ment and experience in the numerous 
details involved in the economical pro- 
duction of concrete forms, the point 
in the process seems to have been 
reached where a small house of rein- 
forced concrete can be built for ap- 
proximately 25 per cent, more than a 
wooden house of the same size and 
style. When the insurance and the 
value of safety for the furnishings 
and contents of the house — not to 
speak of the security of the lives of 

those who live in it — are taken into 
consideration, the concrete proposi- 
tion is coming to appeal to the builder, 
even of the most limited means, and 
so we see that the number of con- 
crete dwellings is increasing by leaps 
and bounds. 

Another great source of waste of 
wood is the use of wooden ties, and 
it is interesting to note that the long 
discussed steel tie as well as its newer 
relation, the reinforced-concrete tie, 
is beginning to make real progress. 
There are many miles of both kinds 
in the railroads of the United States 
to-day, and their use is increasing at 
a rapid rate. 

The coming of the reinforced-con- 
crete pole for all purposes where 
wooden and steel poles are now used 
is just as certain as the coming of gas- 
engine-driven battleships or any other 
obvious development in the field of 
engineering. The shortsightedness 
and waste of the use of wooden tele- 
graph poles has just been forcibly set 
forth by the complete breakdown of 
the pole lines of the telegraph com- 
panies between Philadelphia and 
Washington by the sleet storm of In- 
auguration Day. 

There is not the slightest doubt 
that the wretched performance exhib- 
ited on that occasion is liable to be 
duplicated in any northern section of 
the United States at any time. Nor is 
there the slightest doubt that the 
whole breakage, not only of the poles 
but of the wire also, could have been 
and would be absolutely prevented by 
the adoption of up-to-date and scien- 
tific methods of pole-line construction 
and wire suspension. No one ac- 
quainted with the facts of the case 
will deny this. It is merely a matter 
of crystallized brains in the manage- 
ment being unable to adjust them- 
selves to new conditions and the util- 
ization of new means — just as in the 
navy. Time and a series of such ex- 
positions as that of March 4th will 
be required to force new ideas into 

Leaving aside the details of manu- 
facture and suspension by which tele- 
graph lines can be made non-breakable 
by steel and high wind pressure, the 
problem of keeping up the poles is 
easily solved by the use of hollow 
reinforced-concrete poles such as are 

elsewhere described in this issue of 
The Electrical Age. If they are 
properly made and properly set, with 
their use not only does the whole sup- 
porting structure improve with time, 
instead of deteriorating at the rate of 
from 10 to 15 per cent, per year as 
do the millions of wooden poles in 
existence to-day, but the item of keep- 
up and replacement, so far as the sup- 
porting structure is concerned, dis- 
appears for all time from the com- 
pany's books, the same as in the case 
of peculiar local accidents such as col- 
lisions, dynamite and mishaps of sim- 
ilar character. How these matters ap- 
pear in concrete form is shown by the 
comparison table in the article re- 
ferred to. 

All of the foregoing considerations 
apply to the companies who have 
planted the enormous number of poles 
that are in use for the support of elec- 
tric transmission lines of both high 
and low tension. 

They are, perhaps, of greater im- 
portance in the case of the electric 
companies than in that of the tele- 
graph and telephone companies, in the 
same ratio that light and power are 
more important to a community than 
the swift transmission of news. Im- 
agine the consequences of as complete 
a wreckage of a large electric trans- 
mission and distribution system in a 
city as that of the telegraph lines in 
Maryland. Yet this is just what has 
to be faced by the electric companies. 
Their wooden-pole lines are depre- 
ciating with the same rapidity as the 
telegraph. The chief difference in the 
two situations is that many companies 
by adopting the steel poles have staved 
off the day of reckoning and the aver- 
age transmission and distribution-pole 
line is somewhat better constructed 
and very much younger than the aver- 
age telegraph line. 

In the United States, according to 
the latest bulletin of the Department 
of Commerce and Labor, there are ap- 
proximately 1,000,000 miles of tele- 
phone-pole lines and 275,000 miles of 
telegraph lines, being a grand total of 
1,275,000 miles, which at 40 poles to 
the mile means approximately 5,000,- 
000 telegraph and telephone poles. 
This enormous total does not take ac- 
count of the thousands of miles owned 
and operated by the railroad com- 




April, 1909 

panies. In the whole world there are 
at least 2,000,000 miles of Jand-tele- 
graph lines which, at an average of 
35 poles to the mile, means 70,000,000 
poles which are of wood. 

The miles of transmission and dis- 
tribution-pole line in the United States 
may be taken approximately at 
200,000, of which some 25,000 miles 
are trolley lines. Deducting 20,000 
miles for steel pole and tower-sup- 
ported line, we have left 210,000 miles 
of wooden-pole lines which, at an aver- 
age distance apart of 130 feet or 44 
poles to the mile, means about 
9,000,000 poles in use for electric pur- 

The average life of wooden tele- 
graph and telephone poles in the 
United States is elsewhere stated to 
vary from 12 years for an untreated 
pole to 20 years for a treated pole. 
Under such conditions there are an- 
nually needed approximately some two 
millions of poles to supply the present 
telephone and telegraph lines, and the 
electric lines will require 400,000 

Turning now to the world at large 
and applying the same considerations, 
we find that not far from 3,000,000 
poles for telegraph and similar lines 
must be supplied each year and an- 
other million or so for railway light 
and power circuits. 

These figures, which are certainly 
under rather than over the actual 
facts, show clearly the enormous im- 
portance of the question of stopping 
the waste. The method of lessening it 
has been taken up with some vigor by 
the government and a few of the more 
progressive of the companies involved. 
The proposal is to increase the life of 
the wood pole by treatment. This is 
but a superficial measure. It is the 
thorough-going Germans who have at- 
tacked the problem with characteristic 
determination, and the first step that 
is the economical and quick production 
of an indestructible hollow reinforced- 
concrete pole, elsewhere set forth in 
this issue, is what they claim to have 

Before the light, strong, elastic and 
everlasting type of pole such as can be 
evolved by the perfection of processes, 
there is opened a vast field of useful- 
ness. For not only wood poles will 
ultimately be displaced but the costly 
latticed or tubular iron pole which is 
already left behind in the all-impor- 
tant matter of first cost will gradually 
give way before the insistent action of 
the law of economy. 

It has been claimed, with some show 
of reason, that we are the last people 
in the world to learn this law, and it is 
therefore fitting to look into an eco- 
nomic possibility that promises as 
much as does this. 

A New MetKod of Industrial 

The problem of getting a boy into 
his life work easily and without loss of 
time, and the problem of training ef- 
ficient men in industrial plants, are in 
many ways opposite views of the same 
proposition. Many experiments in 
the solution of these industrial prob- 
lems have been tried out with more or 
less success. There is no novelty of 
view or startling originality of plan in 
the solution proposed by Herman 
Schneider, of the University of Cin- 
cinnati, except that the boy becomes 
partially self-supporting and therefore 
able to continue his purely educational 
work longer than ordinarily. The 
plan has one great advantage over the 
ancient apprenticeship system in that 
it removes the boy from his work for 
definite intervals of quasi-compulsory 
instruction. It provides for one week 
of school instruction and for one week 
of shop or factory work. Two boys 
enter the same shop and alternate each 
week in their shop work and in their 
schooling. They are paid apprentice 
wages while working. Obviously the 
system is applicable to secondary 
schools, high schools and the colleges. 

The advantages of this plan lie 
chiefly in the fact that the boy begins 
to earn money at an earlier age, to 
form industrious habits under the 
sharp discipline of a regular shop, to 
acquire the habit of application to his 
work, it being impossible to shirk 
physical tasks without instant detec- 
tion ; and by the constant and close al- 
ternation of hand and mind training 
he attains a symmetrical education in 
his chosen vocation. 

There are some disadvantages to the 
boy and there are some things not to 
the liking of the shop owner. A con- 
siderable loss of memory of facts oc- 
curs even in so short an interval as a 
week and this fact must make the proc- 
ess of education slower than where the 
tasks are performed daily. On the 
other hand, the exercise of the mind in 
bringing back the work of a week 
ago must necessarily sharpen the 
memory and strengthen the mind by 
compelling it to review after an inter- 
val of time a fairly complex and 
lengthy series of mental acts and phy- 
sical tasks. 

The manufacturer tries the plan be- 
cause he knows that boys who elect 
such a plan are on the average above 
the level of mediocrity, and promise by 
that token to become better workmen. 
He is taking chances with human na- 
ture, for ambition and ability are 
stratums of the mind that run not in 
parallel lines. However, one or two 
human prizes are of so great value 
that he is really glad to give the time 
of a few men to the work of the ap- 

prentices and to let a few machines 
run unproductive. So thoroughly is 
this matter understood by the big in- 
dustrial companies that they yearly go 
prospecting among the colleges for 
human timber. The Schneider plan 
ought to lessen their labor by bring- 
ing the boys to the manufacturer dur- 
ing the early stages of man-building. 

What will be the first electric smelt- 
ing plant in the world for the produc- 
tion of pig iron on a commercial scale, 
will be erected in Norway by the Ak- 
tiebolaget Elektrometall, of Ludvika, 
Sweden. The first installation will be 
built this summer, and includes two 
iron-ore reduction furnaces of 2500 
h.p. each and two steel furnaces of 600 
h.p. each. All furnaces will be op- 
erated with two-phase current. The 
plant will later be enlarged by erecting 
four more iron-ore reduction furnaces 
of 2500 h.p. each and four steel fur- 
naces of larger size than 600 h.p. 

In his annual report, E. H. Utley, 
general manager of the Bessemer & 
Lake Erie, says : 

"The use of the steel tie continues to 
increase our confidence in its utility, 
and I think it is within reasonable 
bounds to assert that within the next 
three years the Bessemer road will be 
double - tracked between Conneaut 
Harbor and North Bessemer with steel 
ties, and that by that time the price of 
first-class white oak wooden ties will 
be considerably over one dollar each, 
whereas the steel ties are selling to-day 
at about $2, and that the management 
of the Bessemer road can feel that, 
aside from the few ties that may be 
destroyed by reason of derailments 
(and which have a scrap value of at 
least half of their purchase price), for 
the next 20 to 40 years the question of 
tie renewals will not enter into the cal- 
culations of expenses for maintenance 
of way." 

Construction of street-railway lines 
in Canada was almost stopped by the 
depression in 1908. For the entire 
year ended December 31 last there were 
laid a total of only thirty-three miles 
of track, and of this, half was built by 
one company, the Brantford & Ham- 
ilton line. Electric-railway building 
at best is being done on a very small 
scale in Canada, as compared with its 
rapid development • in the United 
States. In the year 1907 there was 
laid a total of only seventy-two miles 
of new track. The current year prom- 
ises to be somewhat better, inasmuch 
as one line, the British Columbia 
Electric Railway, has now under con- 
struction more mileage than was built 
by all the roads in the past two years. 



Commonwealth Edison Co., Chicago 

THE transformer is perhaps, next 
to the generator, the most im- 
portant piece of apparatus which 
the electrical engineer has at his dis- 
posal. Without it the development of 
alternating-current transmission and 
distribution systems would have been 
so greatly restricted that the use of 
electricity would never have become 
more than a small fraction of what it 



Fig. I 

is. Distribution would have been lim- 
ited to lower voltages and transmission 
would not have passed beyond the 
limits within which generator and 
motor voltages are confined, say 15,000 
to 20,000 volts. 

The transformer is the simplest 
piece of apparatus which is employed 
in electrical' engineering to any great 
extent, consisting merely of primary 
and secondary coils on an iron core. 
Its lack of moving parts makes it a 
mere combination of copper and iron 
which needs only the application of an 
electromotive force at its terminals to 
make it instantly operative. 

The physical phenomena which take 
place in the transformer are, however, 
not quite so simple as its construction. 

The primary coils receives electric 
current in sufficient quantity to mag- 
netize the iron core. The magnetism 
so excited induces an electromotive 
force in the secondary winding which 
is proportional to the number of turns 
of wire in it. The iron core absorbs 
energy due to hysteresis and eddy cur- 
rents which is proportional in general 
to the amount of iron in the core and 
to the frequency of the supply. The 
presence of the iron core makes the 
self-induction of the primary very high 
at no-load. This results in a very high 
counter electromotive force of self- 
induction which limits the no-load cur- 
rent to a small percentage of the full- 
load carrying capacity of the wind- 
ings. This magnetizing current is one- 
quarter cycle behind the impressed 
voltage. The iron loss draws current 
also which is in phase with the im- 
pressed voltage. The resultant of 

these two is called the leakage current, 
the lagging component being known 
as the magnetizing component, since 
the magnetic flux is in phase with it. 
The secondary induced electromotive 
force is a quarter cycle behind the 
magnetic flux and therefore a half 
cycle behind the primary impressed 
pressure, and in opposition to it. 

When load is connected to the 
secondary, the magnetization set up in 
the core by the secondary current op- 
poses that of the primary and lowers 
the apparent self induction of the 
primary. This permits enough more 
current to flow in the primary to make 
the primary ampere turns equal to the 
secondary ampere turns plus the 
amount due to the leakage current. 
The power factor of the primary cur- 
rent at full load must necessarily be 
practically the same as that of the 
secondary since the leakage current is 
but a few per cent, of full-load current. 
The magnetizing component of the 
leakage current is about twice the loss 
component in the ordinary sizes of dis- 
tributing transformers above I kw. 

There are two principal laws gov- 
erning the design of the transformer. 

The first of these is very simple and 
states that the ratio of transformation 
of a transformer is the ratio of the 
number of turns in the primary to the 
number in the secondary. That is, 
a transformer receiving energy at 2000 
volts and delivering it at 200 has a 
ratio of 10 to 1 and has ten times as 
many turns in series in its primary 
coils as there are in series in its sec- 
ondary coil. When a transformer is 
wound with two or more sections in 
its primary or secondary coils, its 
ratio of transformation can be changed 
by changing the connections from 
series to parallel. For instance, in a 
1040-2080 to 104-208 volt transformer 
there are four possible combinations 
of connections, viz., (a) primary and 
secondary sections both in parallel 
1040 to 104, or 10 to 1 ; (b) primary 
in parallel, secondary in series 1040 
to 208, or 5 to 1 ; (c) primary in series, 
secondary in multiple 2080 to 104 or 
20 to 1 and (d) primary in series, 
secondary in series 2080 to 208 or 10 
to 1. 

It is usual to make the primary 
winding of line transformers inter- 
changeable so that they can be used 
on either 1040 or 2080-volt systems. 
The secondary windings of line trans- 

formers are divided so that they can be 
used in three-wire distribution in sizes 
of 1.5 kw. and upward. 

Transformers designed for trans- 
mission service are frequently made 
with several coils on both primary and 
secondary to permit their being con- 
nected in series for use on higher volt- 
ages later as the system develops. 

The ratio of transformation is also 
sometimes made adjustable by steps of 
5, 10 or 15 per cent., by bringing taps 
out from one of the windings of the 
transformer by which the pressure may 
be raised or lowered as conditions may 
require. Such taps are often specified 
in ordering transformers which are to 
be used with delta connection on a 
three-phase transmission where it is 
expected to raise the transmission volt- 
age later by a change to star connec- 

The ratio of transformation ex- 
pressed in terms of the ratio of the 
number of turns in the coils is strictly 



-r*^r jmSm^ 1 




Ol w p 


i.-.tHT m 


WrIiiV.-- •»-£>/ 

i.^ML^-'". *^fe 



Ink 1 ' * J 



y : ;:»\\ '■ 






-".- Kp^, 


true only when the transformer is car- 
rying no load. The resistance and in- 
ductance of the windings cause a re- 
duction in pressure of 2 per cent, to 3 
per cent, when the transformer is car- 
rying full load, thus modifying the 
ratio of transformation slightly. 




April, 1909 

The ratio of the number of turns in 
primary and secondary being fixed by 
the voltages of supply and delivery, it 
is necessary for the designer to fix 

Fig- 3 

the number of turns in one of the coils 
arbitrarily. This number must be 
high enough to furnish the magnetiz- 
ing force for the core without requir- 
ing too much leakage current at no 
load. This leakage current in line 
transformers should not exceed 3 per 
cent, of normal full-load current ex- 
cept in the smallest sizes, as there are 
many of them on a distributing system. 
The combined leakage current in a 
large system having a power factor of 
50 to 60 per cent, tends to interfere 
with the regulation of the generator 
pressure, and to increase the energy 
required for excitation of the fields, 
during the hours of light load. 

On the other hand, an increase in 
the number of turns requires a greater 
length of wire, which in turn tends to 
increase the cost of the transformer 
and reduce its efficiency. The number 
of turns must, therefore, be selected so 
that the leakage current and length of 
wire will be within proper limits. 

The fundamental formula by which 
the induced voltage of a transformer 
is calculated will illustrate these facts. 
The induced voltage of a transformer 

4.44 / X n X F 

is E= in which / is the 

frequency in cycles per second, n the 
number of turns in series in the coil 
and F the total magnetic flux in the 
core, at the maximum point of the 
wave. For 60 cycles and 2080 volts 
this becomes : 

4.44 X 60 X w F 

2080 = 

or n F = 781,000,000 

It is apparent that either the num- 
ber of turns must be assumed to find 
the total flux, or the flux may be as- 
sumed to find the number of turns. 
The number of turns fixes the weight 
of copper, and the copper loss, while 

the magnetic flux fixes the weight of 
iron and the iron loss. 

It may seem at first sight that the 
area of the cross section of the iron 
core would be about the same for all 
transformers designed for a given 
voltage and frequency without regard 
to size, since the product of the turns 
and the flux is a constant which is 
fixed by the voltage. 

However, the exciting current may 
be made proportional to the kilowatt 
capacity and this permits the number 
of turns to be reduced in the larger 
units, thus increasing the amount of 
iron in the core. For instance, in a 
2-kw. transformer designed for 2080 
volts, there would be required about 
1900 turns in the primary to keep the 
exciting current down to a proper 
amount. The total flux would there- 
fore be F = 781,000,000/1900 = 411,- 
000 lines. In a 20-kw. unit the full- 
load current being 10 times greater, 
the exciting current may be several 
times greater. Assuming that the 
primary has 600 turns, the total flux 
will be 781,000,000/600 = 1,300,000 




r 4 

* JL 

tr J 

r * 


r # 

Fig. 4 

lines. The average length of a turn 
is increased because of the greater 
area of the cross section and the length 
of wire is therefore not reduced in 
proportion to the reduction in the num- 
ber of turns. A number of trial cal- 
culations must be made with different 
ratios of turns to flux, until the most 
economical combination is found for 
each size. 

The total magnetic flux being deter- 
mined the area of the cross section of 
the magnetic circuit is fixed by an ar- 
bitrary assumption of magnetic density 
per square inch. This value is some- 
what elastic and may be adjusted 
within 15 or 20 per cent, of a mean 
value in order to produce consistent 
designs. The iron loss varies as the 
1.6 power of the magnetic density. 
The law governing this is due to Stein- 
metz and is 


Iron loss = 


in which / is the frequency, V the vol- 

ume of the iron, B the number of lines 
per unit of area and K a constant de- 
pending on the kind of iron used. 

It is evident from this formula that 
if the density is increased, the core loss 
increases more rapidly and excessive 
heating results. On the other hand, if 
the density is greatly decreased, the 
weight of iron is increased and the 
cost goes upward. 

In the smaller sizes of 60-cycle 
transformers where the weight of iron 
is small in proportion to the copper, 
the density is made lower so as to 
partly equalize this disparity. The iron 
in units of 1 to 5 kw. is therefore oper- 
ated at from 40,000 to 45,000 lines per 
square inch. In the larger sizes it is 
made 45,000 to 50,000 and in transmis- 
sion units as high as 60,000 lines per 
square inch. 

At 25 cycles the total flux for a 
given voltage must be greater, and this 
tends to require greater cross section. 
The. iron loss, however, falls off with 
the frequency and the density may be 
increased enough to make up for the 
decrease in frequency. This permits 
the design of 25 cycle units at densities 
of 60,000 to 90,000 lines per square 
inch. On the other hand, 125 cycle 
units are usually operated at 30,000 
to 40,000 lines. The density having 
been assumed, the area of the core is 

F 1,300,000 
A = — or — 26 sq. in. in a 

B 50,000 

20-kw. unit. 

The magnetizing component of the 
leakage current for a given design 
may be computed from the formula 

C = in which B is the num- 

4,44 N P 
ber of lines of force per square inch, 
L the length of the magnetic circuit 

Fig. 5 

April, 1909 



in inches, N the number of turns and 
P the permeability of the iron. As- 
suming a magnetic density of 50,000 
lines per square inch and a permeabil- 
ity of 2000, the magnetizing compon- 
ent of the leakage current would be 

50,000 Xi 5- 6 3 L 

C = = or as- 

4.44 X 200 X N N 

suming the magnetizing current, the 

5-63 L 

number of turns is N == 


The number of turns and total flux 
of various sizes of distribution trans- 
formers are approximately as given 
in the following table : 

type and size in direct proportion. On 
this account 25-cycle transformers and 
induction motors require more mate- 
rial than the similar types of 60-cycle 
apparatus and cost more to build. 

There are two general types of 
windings and core used in transform- 
ers. One is known as the shell type, 
the other as the core type. 

In the shell type the coils are 
threaded through the magnetic circuit 
and are surrounded by it, while in the 
core type the coils surround the core. 
The usual form taken by the shell type 
is that shown in Fig. 1. It has been 
used to some extent in line transform- 
ers and very generally in connection 
with synchronous converters where 

K. W. Cap. 











































Area of core, sq. in. 


The formula E 

444 nfF 


been applied numerically in the fore- 
going only to units designed for 2080 
volts and 60 cycles. It is apparent that 
for higher voltages the product 11 F 
will be proportionately higher and that 
more iron and copper will be required 
to construct a transformer of given 
capacity as the voltage is increased. 
Likewise, if the frequency is lower the 
product n F is proportionately higher 
and more copper and iron is required 
to construct a transformer of given 

Fig. 6 

forced air cooling is employed. The 
core type shown in Fig. 2 has been 
used very generally for line and trans- 
mission purposes where oil cooking is 
relied upon. The cylindrical form of 
the coils lends itself to dissipation of 
heat and the application of insulation 
more readily than the flat type of coil 
used in the shell type. The core type 
has therefore been used very generally 
for distribution purposes. 

In recent years a modification of the 
shell type shown in Fig. 3, known as 
the cruciform type, has been devel- 
oped, which permits the retention of 
the cylindrical form of coil with the 
shell type of core. This form which 
has been adopted by the two largest 
American manufacturers, reduces 
magnetic leakage to a minimum, im- 
proves regulation and makes a very 
compact and efficient arrangement of 
copper and iron. 

In the construction of the magnetic 
circuit of the transformer, the iron 
must be in sheet form to reduce the 
flow of eddy currents which tend to be 
set up by the alternating magnetic flux. 
The sheet iron is commonly about .012 
inch thick, this thickness having been 
found to be the most effective and 
economical. The shape of the stamp- 
ings of sheet metal is carefully worked 
out so that they may be built up 
around the form-wound and insulated 
coils with facility. This must be done 
so as to affect the reluctance of the 
magnetic circuit as little as possible. 
The alternate laminations are therefore 
usually overlapped so that the mag- 
netic lines of force do not have to cross 
a butt joint. The laminations are se- 
cured in position by bolts holding them 
rigidly in place. 

The art of manufacturing sheet iron 
for use in making laminated magnetic 
circuits for alternating-current appa- 

ratus has made progress steadily from 
the beginning of the industry. In the 
early years of alternating-current de- 
velopment the electrical manufacturer 
had nothing at his disposal in the way 
of sheet iron except the standard 
grades turned out for general pur- 

M/cc7 ■S/j/'e/c/s 


Ot'/ Duct 

Oi/ Chcrnne/s 

Fig. 7 

poses. It was found very soon that 
such iron when used in a transformer 
had magnetic properties which were 
variable with the length of time in 
service. The hysteresis loss per 
pound was high because of lack of 
proper annealing and varied widely in 
different lots because of the lack of 
uniformity in the heat treatment in the 
mill. The result was that a trans- 
former which was reasonably efficient 
at the date of manufacture passed 
through a process of aging which left 
it with a greatly increased hysteresis 
loss and reduced its all-day efficiency 
very materially. As soon as this phe- 

Fig. 8 



April, 1909 

nomenon became well established, an 
endeavor was made to establish the 
cause of the ageing. The continued 
operation of the iron at higher temper- 
atures than normal atmospheric 
seemed to be the seat of the trouble 



Fig. 9 

and experiments were therefore di- 
rected along the line of careful control 
of the heat treatment of the sheet metal 
during the process of manufacture to 
insure as perfect annealing as possible 
in the finished product. The accumu- 
lated experience of several years pro- 
duced gradual improvement in the 
magnetic properties of sheet iron, 
though ageing has not been entirely 

However, in recent years experi- 
ments in the manufacture of sheet 
metal from an iron and silicon alloy 
have reached a stage which is very 
promising, and transformers are being 
manufactured with cores made of this 
metal, which not only permits the use 
of less core material, but reduces the 
core loss and practically eliminates the 
ageing effect. Manufacturers of trans- 
formers have been able to change their 
transformer designs, reducing the cost 
of construction and producing more 
efficient apparatus. 

The progress which has been made 
during the years 1898 to 1909 is made 
very plain by the curves in Fig. 4, 
which show the iron losses in the vari- 
ous sizes of line transformers at three 
points during this period. 

The copper losses of the transformer 
assist in the production of heat while 
it is carrying load, and they must 
therefore be so limited as to keep the 
temperature of the interior of the 
transformer from rising more than 45 
to 50 degrees cent, above the surround- 
ing air. 

The elevation of temperature is de- 
termined by the radiation factor and 
by the energy losses. In an air-blast 
transformer, for instance, the energy 
loss per kilowatt of capacity is con- 

siderably higher than in an oil-cooled 
unit because special facilities are pro- 
vided for carrying off the heat gener- 

The selection of cross sections of 
copper for the windings is therefore 
fixed within certain limits by the heat 
losses therein. 

In the small sizes the large number 
of turns and the very small current in 
the primary coil favor the use of a 
lower current density than is permis- 
sible in the larger sizes. Except in the 
sizes less than 5 kw. the copper is run 
at from 400 to 500 cir. mils per 
ampere at full load. These densities 
give copper losses which are somewhat 
greater at full load than the iron losses 
in the smaller sizes and running up to 
about twice the iron loss in the larger 

The copper must be ample to keep 
the regulation of the transformer with- 
in proper limits. Where regulation is 
not important, the copper losses may 
be increased somewhat. 

The regulation of the transformer is 
the drop in pressure due to the resist- 
ance and inductance of its windings. 
It is, therefore, variable with different 
power factors. The impedance drop 
of a transformer is that pressure which 
is required at the terminals of the 
primary to drive full-load current 
through the transformer with its sec- 
ondary short-circuited. 

The resistance drop may be deter- 
mined by passing direct current 
through the windings. This being 
known, the reactance drop is X = 
\/Z 2 -R 2 . The resistance and reactance 
drops being known, the regulation of 


_— ^— 



wr ■«*« 

Fig. 10 

the transformer when carrying load at 
any power factor may readily be de- 
termined by reference to a Mershon 
diagram, the resistance and reactance 
drops being treated as if they were the 
ohmic and inductive drops of a feeder 
carrying a load at the given power 

The problem of disposing of the 
heat generated in a transformer is one 
which has required a large amount of 
study and experiment. In the begin- 
ning of the art when units were small, 
natural radiation into the air was suf- 
ficient. As sizes increased this was 
inadequate to keep down interior tem- 
peratures to a point where slow char- 


K, .'•'■*^** r ~ .. , V "V!' ""jWfeisiBi^h , 

jprw «| c&4 -put Ur-r 

B HKW 'Ul^TO-f JflMkraSF 


I *«SS' ... H 

—*c ; f3 

23ES-. !;,; 

a*" 1 i " 

\m* ■ j ~ 1 

^-- ; >^ J^-v-':l 

^K, ' ■ fc&iji"^^^ -SB waSpf . 

^jjJ^Uf r ~^ 

Fig. 11 

ring of insulating materials would not 
take place. The air blast was naturally 
suggested as a means of hastening 
radiation and has found a useful field 
in stations and substations where at- 
tendance is continuous and floor space 
is limited. This type of transformer is 
shown in Fig. 5. 

This was not feasible, of course, for 
distribution work and the use of a bath 
of oil around the coils was tried. This 
served the double purpose of exclud- 
ing moisture and assisting radiation by 
the action of convection currents which 
cause the heated oil next to the coils 
to rise to the top, drawing the cool oil 
up from the bottom to take its place. 
This plan was soon found to be so 
effective both in cooling and insulating 
the coils that it became standard prac- 
tice with all the principal manufactur- 
ers and continues to be the method used 
for all line transformers and for sta- 
tion work where floor space is not lim- 
ited or where the voltage of transmis- 
sion is very high. In the larger units, 
say 1000 kw. and upwards, the size of 
the case necessary to hold oil suffi- 
cient .to radiate the energy at the 
proper rate becomes excessive. It is, 
therefore, usual to provide a case of 
sufficient size to contain the trans- 
former and cooling coils of pipe as 
shown in Fig. 6. The transformer and 
cooling coils are immersed in oil which 
serves to convey the heat from the 
transformer below to the coils above. 
Water is circulated through the cool- 
ing coils in proper quantities to carry 
away the heat liberated in the trans- 
former. This method of cooling is 
readily applicable where a cheap sup- 
ply of water is available. It is not so 
economical where a supply of water 
must be purchased at usual water 

In very large units, 2500 kw. and 
over, it is sometimes justifiable to pro- 

April, 1909 



vide a forced circulation of water or 
oil to carry away the heat. In such 
cases it may also be necessary to pro- 
vide means of cooling the circulating 
liquid. Such problems are, however, 
special and must be worked out to suit 
local conditions. 

In the design of the coils and cores 
of self-cooled oil-insulated transform- 
ers, it is important that they be so 
shaped and mounted on the core as to 
permit a free circulation of oil about 
them. For instance, in the 'core type 
transformer the square corners may be 
used in conjunction with the cylin- 






Fig. 12 

drical coils to provide open vertical 
channels or flues through which 
streams of oil may pass, thus reaching 
the inner parts of the coils and core, 
and preventing these parts from 
reaching a temperature very much 
higher than the outside parts as shown 
in Fig. 7. 

In the shell type this is not so feas- 
ible, and radiation must be accom- 
plished by flaring apart the coils at 
the ends where they turn so that the 
oil can reach them on both sides, and 
by providing circulation slots between 
the coils. 

The radiation of heat from the case 
is facilitated by vertically corrugated 
surfaces which may be so designed as 
to greatly increase the radiating sur- 
face without increasing the cubic con- 
tents of the case. 

The insulation of the coils of a 
transformer from each other and from 
the case is of supreme importance. In 
transmission work large amounts of 
power are dependent upon the relia- 
bility of the transformer, while in dis- 
tribution work not only the central sta- 
tion service but the lives of consumers 
and the general public are dependent 
upon it to a large extent. 

The conductors are double cotton 
covered to separate adjacent turns while 
the layers are separated by a proper 
thickness of varnished cambric, sheet 
mica or other insulating material. The 
completed coil is wrapped with linen 

tape covering the cotton braid, after 
being impregnated with heated insulat- 
ing compounds which drive off any re- 
maining traces of moisture. 

The primary and secondary coils be- 
ing placed in close proximity are sep- 
arated from each other by mica and 
hard wood or fibre so as to provide an 
oil-filled gap between the coils. The 
coils are likewise separated from the 
core by sheets of mica and other mate- 
rial. The cylindrical type of coils used 
in core type construction and in the 
improved shell type are easily pro- 
tected by layers of mica and are there- 
fore the most reliable form of coil for 
distribution purposes. Forms which 
require the protection of sharp corners 
are more difficult to insulate safely. 
Mica is not affected by heat or mois- 
ture and therefore forms the best in- 
sulating material where it can be ap- 
plied effectively in sheets. 

Distribution transformers are com- 
monly provided with rugged cast-iron 
cases adapted to stand exposure to the 
weather and to the rough handling in- 
cident to installation and removal at 
occasional intervals. They must be 
oil-tight, as leakage is likely to result 
in claims for damages from property 
owners as well as very unsightly equip- 
ment. The cover is made removable 
for convenience in filling with oil, and 
in changing the primary coil connec- 
tions from series to multiple. Lugs 
are cast on the case to fit wrought-iron 
hangers by which they may be con- 
veniently hung on a cross-arm, as 
shown in Fig. 8. 

It is customary in bringing out the 
leads of distribution transformers to 
follow a uniform method of connect- 
ing up coils on primary and secondary 
sides so that units may be coupled in 
parallel by following a symmetrical 
plan of connections without testing out 
for polarity every time. The polarity 
is made such that current is leaving 
the right-hand terminal of the second- 
ary at the same time that it is entering 

magnetic characteristics of a trans- 
former having an iron core are for- 
tunately such that the relative amount 
of copper required is small, and the 
losses in the copper windings are not 
as great as they are in a generator or 
synchronous converter. The lack of 
moving parts further tends to make 
the transformer the most efficient piece 
of electrical apparatus which is in gen- 
eral use. 

The efficiency of a transformer 
which is used in transmission work is 
of most importance at the time of full 
load, since it usually carries its load 
eight to ten hours or more per day, 
and its iron losses are a small part of 
its converted output. It is important, 
therefore, that its copper losses be 
low, and its full-load efficiency as high 
as possible. In a distribution trans- 
former supplying lighting load four to 
five hours per day, the full-load effi- 
ciency is less important while the iron 
loss which goes on 24 hr. may be- 
come a considerable percentage of the 
daily output of the unit. 

For instance, in the case of a 5-kw. 
transformer which delivers 20 kw-hr. 
per day, the copper loss would be about 
100 watts at full load, while the iron 
loss would be about 50. The copper 
loss per day would be about 400 watt- 
hr. while the iron loss would be 24x50 
= 1200 watt-hr. The total loss being 
1600 watt-hr., the all-day efficiency is 


= 92.6 per cent., 

while that at full load is 


97.1 per cent. 

It is apparent that the all-day efficiency 
varies with the load factor or hours' 
use of the maximum load. The effi- 
ciency at various load factors is shown 
for several sizes of transformers in the 
curves in Fig. 10. It is evident from 
these curves that a system in which 

K. V. A. 

Watts Loss 

Per Cent. 
Full Load 

Per Cent. 


Per Cent. 



100 per cent. 
P. F. 

80 per cent. 
P. F. 































2 12 
1 .70 


2 72 






4 .... 





















the transformer through the corre- there are a considerable number of 

sponding terminal of the primary, as i-kw. transformers will have a lower 

shown in Fig. 9. all-day efficiency than one in which 

The physical laws governing the the same amount of load is supplied 



April, J909 

by 5-kw. transformers. The average 
size of transformers should, therefore, 
be kept as large as is consistent with 
a reasonable investment in secondary- 

The efficiency, copper loss, iron loss 
and regulation of the distribution 
transformers of the improved shell 
type made by the leading American 
manufacturers are shown in the table 
on page 87. 

The copper loss and regulation fig- 
ures in the above table are based on a 
temperature of JJ° fahr., whereas, 
under the normal condition of full-load 
operation, the temperature of the 
windings is about 150 fahr. The in- 
crease in the resistance of copper being 
about — 0.22 per cent, per degree fahr. 
of rise, the increase in resistance at 150 
would be 73X0.22 = 16 per cent. The 
copper losses at 150 would therefore 
be about 16 per cent, higher than the 
values shown in the above table and 
the regulation would be proportion- 
ately increased. In a 5-kw. trans- 
former the copper loss would be 93 X 
1. 16 = 108 watts, while the regulation 
at 100 per cent. P. F. would be 1.9 X 
1. 16 = 2.2 per cent. 

In three-phase systems the possibil- 
ity of saving a part of the core material 

and reducing the cubic feet occupied 
has led to the adoption of three-phase 
units in some kinds of work. The 
three-phase unit as worked out in the 
shell type with air-blast cooling effects 
a saving in floor space and in first cost 
which has made it standard for syn- 
chronous converter work. In the core 
type unit illustrated in Fig. 11, the 
cooling is effected by oil and this type 
is used in distribution work or in situ- 
ations where attendance is not contin- 
uous. It is not usual to attempt to use 
a three-phase unit smaller than 15 kw. 
Having the three phases contained in 
one case they are made in larger capac- 
ities than single-phase units, having 
been made as large as 7500 kw. for 
use in transmission work. 

For general distribution purposes, 
the three-phase unit in sizes less than 
150 kw. has some serious limitations. 
It puts the entire load furnished by the 
unit out of service if any trouble de- 
velops in either phase of the unit, and 
the expense of providing a substitute 
unit is necessarily greater. 

Where transformers of all sizes 
must be kept on hand to take care of 
light and power service, it is far more 
flexible to have single-phase units 
which are available for either light or 

power than to attempt to carry a line 
of single-phase units for lighting and 
three-phase units for power. 

In construction work where the 
transformers are hung on poles, it is 
easier to distribute the weight of the 
transformers on the pole with three 
units than with one in installations of 
50 kw. or more. In underground work 
the saving in space is of value in a 
manhole, but the shape of the three- 
phase unit is such that it cannot be in- 
stalled or removed unless a special size 
of manhole cover is used. 

The three-phase unit has therefore 
not been generally used in distribution 

In the design of the core of three- 
phase units, some saving in the weight 
of core metal is possible when the 
middle phase is connected in reversed 
order so that the magnetic fluxes of 
the adjacent phases do not combine in 
the usual 120 relation, but at 6o° 

For instance, the shell type unit, as 
shown in Fig. 12, may be designed 
with the same cross-section at B as 
each of the three single-phase units 
has at the points B, thus saving the 
shaded portion of the middle single- 
phase core. 

Reinforced Concrete in Electrical 
Transmission Lines 

ALL new inventions which are in 
the nature of improvements on 
existing ways of doing things 
have to pass the crucial test of 
competition before they can be con- 
sidered as established. Possession of 
the field is a mighty advantage, and 
the burden of proof is ever on the new- 
comer, which if it is to make good 
must do so because it is the best. It 
is the struggle for existence, that great 
law of the domain of nature working 
equally in the region of man's en- 

In forming a judgment of the value 
of a new invention of this kind, a com- 
parison should be made with the exist- 
ing means of accomplishing the same 
end. This comparison will force con- 
sideration of the relative advantages 
and disadvantages of the new scheme 
as concern the three great points of 
technical merit, manufacturing, feasi- 
bility and economy. From this study 
estimates of the net practical utility 
of a new idea can be made with more 
or less accuracy which may serve as a 
basis for action. 

The use of reinforced concrete in all 
its numerous branches is one of the 
latest inventions of the modern world 
and bids fair to become of vast im- 
portance. The electrical engineer and 
construction man have been among the 
foremost to seize on its possible ad- 
vantages, and to-day it plays a most 
important part in the construction of 
power-houses and substations. In the 
link between these two and between 
them and the consumer, that is to say, 
in the transmission and distribution of 
power both overhead and under- 
ground, it has so far had little to do. 
Unreinforced concrete has been much 
used in ducts and duct-line founda- 
tions and manholes for underground 
work, but it is in the use of reinforced 
concrete for pole lines of all sorts that 
the first great improvement will be 
made. This, then, is a matter of pos- 
sible interest and profit to everyone 
connected with the telephone, tele- 
graph and overhead transmission and 
distribution lines. 

For overhead work the new appli- 
cant finds the field already crowded. 

Wooden poles untreated and treated, 
wooden poles with concrete settings or 
sockets, wooden poles with steel sock- 
ets, and numerous other modifications 
have been tried and found more or less 
wanting. The next advance was the 
employment of steel poles. I-shaped, 
tee-shaped, tubular, lattice poles and 
poles built up of these elements are all 
in use, also concrete poles, solid or 
with wood or some other permanent 
core have been and are being tried. 

Until- a very recent time the plain 
wooden pole has had the most of the 
field. Except in certain localities that 
are especially unfavorable to their life, 
nearly all the telegraph and telephone 
lines of the world are carried on mil- 
lions and millions of wooden poles. 
With the introduction of the "small 
and early" electric plants of the first 
years of the industry, the wooden pole 
was the thing handiest to use and has 
been almost universally employed with 
results which can hardly be called sat- 

But the rapid expansion of electrical 
uses has worked a change for the 

April, 1909 





worse in the wooden pole supply. The 
enormously increased demand has 
greatly increased the price, and worse 
still, the quality of pole supplies is get- 
ting bad. This demand has caused 
poorer timber to be used, less care in 
sorting, and a general slacking of 
specification ; the result of which has 
been that greatest defect of the wooden 
pole — its shortness of life. Implied in 
the short life of the pole is the eventu- 
ally increasing weakness which results 
in failure in storms and other abnor- 
mal stress, with costly interruptions of 
service and costly renewals of defec- 
tive and depreciated poles. 

All this has led to a demand for 
something less expensive in the long 
run and more reliable, and resulted in 
the use of concrete setting of wooden 
poles, and later in the appearance of 
the steel pole. 

With the concrete setting the life of 
the wood pole is longer but still not 
long, as its term of service is limited 
by •^mospheric influences. Another 

great objection is the high cost of re- 
newal, as the old foundation is not 
available for the new pole without a 
great expense. To obviate this, the 
concrete socket was devised, but has 
no bearing on the length of service, 
merely modifying the cost of replace- 
ment. With or without the numerous 
preserving schemes that have been de- 
vised, the wooden pole will have to be 
renewed every fifteen or twenty years, 
and very few even of the treated poles 
ever obtain the latter period. 

The steel pole, which next made its 
appearance on the market, has many 
points in its favor. It has a long life 
if properly looked after, is tough, and 
in the more economical form not too 
heavy for convenient handling. Its 
great handicaps are the high first cost 
and the high cost of maintenance 
which is chiefly painting. 

The improvement in the knowledge 
of design and processes of manufac- 
ture of reinforced concrete led at last 
to attempts to make poles from it 

which should be able to compete with 
the steel pole. The results of these 
efforts have been highly successful 
when properly carried out, and it is a 
wonder that the superiority of this type 
of pole has not been more widely 
known and utilized. 

The first of these poles were made 
by hand and were solid. This pro- 
duced a pole strong and durable but 
of high first cost and enormous weight. 
The volume of an ordinary telegraph 
pole is about 20 cu. ft. Such a 
wooden pole would weigh from 600 to 
1000 lb. according to the kind of 
wood. A solid concrete pole of the 
same size will weigh two to three times 
as much. For economy of material 
and handling the hollow concrete pole 
was devised. 

Among the first to try the hollow 
concrete pole was the municipal light- 
ing department of the city of Zurich in 
Switzerland. In this instance steel 
poles of different diameter were placed 
vertically with one inside of the other ; 
after the setting and fastening of the 
reinforcing members the concrete was 
tamped in. 

Such poles required the most careful 
work to insure a uniform quantity. of 
concrete work and hence uniform 
strength. Hand-mixed concrete is pre- 
ferred to the machine-mixed article in 
this sort of work, and hand tamping is 
not uniformly done. The slowness, 
lack of uniformity and high first cost 
of such a hand-made pole led to the 
development of the up-to-date machine 
and machine-made hollow reinforced 
concrete pole, which represents the 
very latest advance of the art, until 
the coming of the mechanical pole- 
maker. These poles can now be turned 
out at a much lower cost than steel 
poles and can be made in larger quan- 
tities in a small time. 

One of the machines which has 
made positive the cheapening and per- 
fecting of the manufacture of the con- 
crete pole is that used by the Interna- 
tional Siegwart Company of Lucerne. 

This firm has a pole-making ma- 
chine whose principal features are 
shown in the illustrations Figs. 1 
and 2. 







^ SCO 

1234 567S 

Deflection, inches 




April, J909 




An adjustable lathe-like form is ar- 
ranged for mounting a hollow conical 
iron core mould arranged so as to be 
collapsible for the withdrawing after 
the operation. Over the outer surface 
of this mould the reinforcing rods are 
drawn symmetrically and kept taut by 
means of screws in the air plates. An 
adjustable spacing ring which slides 
along the mould provides for the 
proper location of the rods in the mass. 
They are carried just below the outer 
surface. The traveling applicator 
moves along the mould by a screw- 
driving mechanism. The applicator 
consists of a funnel-shaped receptacle 
for taking the concrete from the mixer, 
whose bottom is closed by a revolving 
drum. On the outer surface of the 
drum are ribs which, as the drum re- 
volves, carry off certain definite quan- 
tities of the mixture from reservoirs, 
and drop them upon a carrying belt 
which applies them to the form as 
shown. The speed of the drum is ad- 
justible and regulates the amount of 
mixture delivered. 

The carrying belt, which applies the 
mixture and is the distinctive feature 
of the machine, is made of steel wire 
in order to withstand the great tension 

to which it is subjected. It is moved 
by a traveling driving pulley and an- 
other movable pulley is placed on the 
other side of the core mould which is 
caused to revolve by the pressure of 
the belt which makes one loop about 
it. Dumped by the drum on a short 
endless chain, the mixture is by it 
thrown on the upper side of the belt 
and by it carried around the frame and 
squeezed into the reinforcement by the 
tension of the belt which, by means of 
a lever-controlled tightener, can be run 
up over 5000 lbs. 

the applicator which is itself driven 
forward as explained above, so that 
the apparatus can travel the entire 
length of the pole. 

The whole scheme of operation is 
well illustrated in Figs. I and 2. From 
the receptacle into which it is dumped 
on leaving the mixer, the concrete is 
carried by the drum and chain on to 
the belt and applied to the core as 
spiral strips like the threads of a huge 
screw, laid on close together. As the 
core is revolved by the belt, a pair of 
smoothing rollers press against the 
mass and completes the packing or 
tamping action, leaving a smooth sur- 
face. Just before the belt reaches any 
part, a set of spiral cross-reinforcing 
wires are wound off of a traveling 
spool, and just after the smoothing 
rollers have passed, a canvas strip is 
wound about the surface. This strip 
serves to bind the wet mixture in place 
and also helps to retain the moisture in 
setting. After the setting is suffi- 
ciently advanced, it is removed and can 
be used over again. 

In this machine the process of form- 
ing a pole is quite rapid, and as soon 
as the screw has reached the far end, 
the pole with its core and canvas 
wrapping is removed to the setting 
yard. A new core is mounted in the 
machine and another pole turned out. 

The great advantage of the machine 
is its flexibility. By it a hollow pole of 
any desired length, diameter, thickness 
of wall, and degree of coning or taper, 
within certain limits can be turned out. 
It is just as useful for making rein- 
forced concrete tubes or pipe as for 
poles, and it is claimed that such pipe 
is in satisfactory use for water pres- 
sure up to 300 lbs. 

The poles so turned out have the 
advantages of being equally and thor- 
oughly packed and tamped, and have 
a form and walls that are mathe- 
matically true. Their cost, as com- 
pared to a hand-made pole, is enor- 
mously reduced. 

For the production of an ideal pole 


Power for operating the entire 
mechanism is furnished by an electric 
motor which is secured under the 
upper frame of the machine. Screws 
and chain gears carry the motion to 

of reasonable cost the following condi- 
tions are requisite : 

Material capable of resisting the 
effects of moisture, acids and atmos- 
pheric deterioration. This means no 

April, 1909 




labor and material for upkeep except- 
ing in the case of violence or unusual 
accident. The material should be 
cheap and easy to prepare and apply 
in large quantities by machinery. The 
reinforcement should be placed as near 
the outer surface as possible without 
its ever becoming exposed. And last 
but not least, the pole should be well 
proportioned and have a neat and 
graceful appearance. 

The hollow poles that have been 
made abroad have met these require- 
ments. The remarkable degree of 
strength as shown in the bending tests 
given below is due to the excellence 
of the cement and other materials 
used, as well as the liberal use of high 
quality reinforcing rods. The cheap- 
ness is shown by the tables which give 
a lower cost for them than for steel 
poles of an equal strength. As for 
the matter of appearance — which how- 
ever slighted in .the United States, is of 
prime importance in Europe, especially 
in the cities — the poles are fully com- 
parable with ornamental steel poles. 
Indeed, with this machine it is pos- 
sible to give a pole that magic entasis 
which makes in some way the charm of 
a columnular figure and whose absence 
or presence on such a figure makes a 


large part of the difference between a 
thing of beauty and a common eyesore. 


In some tests at the Milan Exposi- 
tion, 1906, an ordinary wooden pole 
and a hollow reinforced-concrete pole 
were tied together at the top and a 
weight of 265 lb. was attached at the 
middle of the connecting cord, as 
shown in Fig. 4. Also the same 
weights were suspended from brackets. 
In the first case, under the equal 
strain the concrete pole was deflected 
0.079 °f an inch, and the wooden pole 
1. 18 in. In the second case, the con- 
crete pole was not deflected at all, 
while the wooden pole bent 0.83 of an 

Following is the result of some tests 
of reinforced-concrete poles made in 
Switzerland by the Siegwart Com- 
pany : 


Total length of pole 23.8 feet 

Diameter at the butt 16.8 inches 

Diameter at the top 10.6 inches 

Length of lever arm 19.6 feet 

Thickness of wall 11.18 inches 

Number of reinforcing rods ... 33 

Diameter of reinforcing rods . . . 275 inches 

Safe horizontal pull at top . . . 520 pounds 


Failure occurred at 2200 lb., the 
cause being the crushing of the con- 
crete and a flaw in the reinforcement. 
This gives a factor of safety of a little 
more than 4. 

For an angle pole on a Swiss trans- 
mission line the following bending 
test was made : 


Number of wires on pole ... 8 

Diameter of wires 316 inch 

(Between No. and No. 1 B. & S.) 

Total side pull due to 8 wires . 1300 lbs. 

Length of pole 39 . 2 feet 

Length of lever arm 31.1 feet 

(Measured from centre of ten- 
sion due to wires, to the ground 
Calculated moment due to side 

pull ........... 40,430 foot-lbs. 

Calculated maximum wind pres- 
sure 685 lbs. 

Calculated lever arm of wind pres- 
sure 13.7 feet 

Calculated moment due to wind 

pressure 9385 foot-lbs, 

Total combined pull at centres of 

application 1650 lbs. 

(i. e. at 31.1 feet above the ground) 

The pole is fastened between two 
massive blocks of concrete as shown at 
Fig. 6. The bending force is applied 
by means of a chain block, the strain 
being measured by a dynamometer, 
and the deflection by a scale at the end 
of the pole. 









De flection 




















1.70 • 







The diagram of this test is plotted in Fig. 3. 

The discrepancy between the first 
and second tests in the deflection ob- 
tained with 1540 lb. pull is due to the 
crushing of the cement at the corner 
of the support. Allowing for the sink- 
ing in, the amount of net deflection was 
actually 2.48 instead of 3.46 in. 

On releasing, the poles showed no 
permanent set, and on reapplying the 
strain the deflection was 2.75 in., as 

In the last part of the third test, the 
material of the blocks crushed again 
and the net deflection under 2220 lb. 
was only 4.72 in. instead of the 6.1 in- 
dicated in the table; the pole after 
this test, showed no crook or deforma- 
tion of any sort and was pronounced 
satisfactory by the power company's 

Another type of heavy pole made in 
two pieces for angle in transmission 
line is shown in Fig. 8. 

Fig. 9 shows the method of erecting 
a two-part concrete pole. In this pole 
the total length assembled is 52.8 ft., 
the lower part being 16.4 ft. long and 
27.5 in. in outside diameter, and the 
upper part 39.3 ft. long, with a diame- 
ter at the butt of 23.6 in., and 11 in. at 
the top. The overlap is approximately 
2 ft. and the length below the ground 
line a little more than 6]/ 2 ft. The 
pole thus stands a little over 46 ft. 
high. The joint between the two sec- 
tions is filled in with cement, and the 
lower part is filled with concrete as 
shown in Fig. 12. This pole is an ex- 
ample of the most massive and dur- 
able line construction imaginable, and 
standing without guys at an angle in 
the line of nearly 45 degrees. It sup- 
ports, the combined pull of six con- 
ductors ; three of 0.275 in. diameter, 
i.e., about No. 1 B. & S., one about 
equal to No. 4 ; and two about No. 2. 
Under the total tension of these wires 
the combined unbalanced side pull, 
without allowing for wind-pressure, 
amounts to 2400 lb. The deflection at 
the top is but 3.5 in. It is, of course, 



April, 1909 

Fig. 8, 


provided with a solid concrete founda- 
tion, similar to that shown in Fig. 12. 


In summing up the advantages and 
disadvantages of the various kinds of 
poles, we have the following charac- 
teristics : 

Untreated Wooden Poles : Rela- 
tively low but constantly increasing 
first cost, short life, high maintenance. 

Treated Wooden Poles : Higher and 
increasing first cost, somewhat longer 
life ; higher maintenance. 

Wooden Poles with Concrete Set- 
ting: High first cost, short life, ex- 
pensive to replace. 

Wooden Poles with Concrete Sock- 
ets: High first cost but longer life, 
though still relatively short; cheaper 
to replace than preceding. 

Steel Poles, whether latticed, hollow, 
or built-up, are of high first cost, long 
life if properly cared for, but costly to 

Reinforced-Concrete Poles: With 
wooden cores, high first cost and life 

Hollow Reinforced-Concrete: First 
cost higher than wooden poles, but less 
than iron ; unlimited life if of good 
material and properly made, no main- 
tenance cost, flexible in manufacture ; 
of any length, diameter or thickness of 

wall according to demands ; disad- 
vantages are greater weight and 
greater difficulty and cost of handling. 
In order to make a close compari- 
son of the effect of various factors in 
the total result, estimates are given it 



April, 1909 




the table below covering treated 
wooden poles with ordinary setting, 
hollow steel poles, set in concrete, and 
hollow concrete poles. These esti- 

mates are based on cost for material 

and labor prevalent in central Europe. 

Straight-line poles can be made with 

a lower factor of safety equal to that 



Wooden Poles 

Hollow Steel Poles 
for 1200 lbs. ten- 

Hollow Concrete Poles for 
1200 lbs. tension factor 
of Safety. 




Light 1 graph & 
Trolley Tele- 





graph or 

Total length feet 


28.8 | 29.5 






First cost of pole 

Painting steel poles 













Total cost erected .... 







$25 . 00 


Estimated life of pole. . . . 




Number of renewals 





Removing & replacing wires. 

1 .40 








Total cost of one renewal 






Total cost of all renewals. . . 






Grand Total Cost 


$39.73 | $33.56 






of an ordinary wooden pole for a cost 
of about 15 per cent, less than the 
poles listed above. In this connec- 
tion it must be remembered that the 
strength of the concrete pole increases 
rapidly at first and slowly for a 
long period thereafter, while that of 
the wooden pole diminishes slowly at 
first and rapidly toward the latter part 
of its life. With this fact in mind, a 
basis of equal strength for comparison 
is safer than would appear at first 

Comparing the above figures, it will 
be seen that in the case of telephone 
and telegraph poles at the end of 50 
years, the wooden-pole line has cost 
over four times as much as the con- 
crete-pole line. In fact, the cost of the 
wooden-pole line may be considered to 
have overtaken that of the concrete- 
pole line after the first renewal, or in 
less than 15 years. 

In the case of the light trolley poles 
of the kind ordinarily used on electric 
railways in this country, the difference 
in favor of the concrete pole as com- 
pared with the wooden, is nearly $15 

* Includes storage, distribution, extra expense, charge for overtime, night and Sunday work and loss of 
income from interruption to service. 

In this table the double factor of safety used in the concrete pole division means poles whose strength is 
equal to that of the wooden poles of the sort listed. One such pole replaces the two wooden poles often used 
at angles. 






April, 1909 

or 60 per cent, per pole, while as com- 
pared with the steel pole, the re- 
mainder in favor of the concrete pole 
is $20 or 80 per cent. 

The concrete pole is cheaper than 
the steel pole from the start; and be- 
comes cheaper than the wooden pole 
after the second renewal or, say, 30 
years, as the above estimates of the 
life of an untreated wooden pole are 
very liberal. The actual facts are 
probably even more favorable to the 
concrete pole than shown here. 

In comparing the figures for long 
poles for transmission purpose, the 
fact that high-tension transmission 
lines are more and more coming to be 

carried on steel towers may be left 
aside, and comparison should be made 
between the type of pole as used by 
the tens of thousands for the distribu- 
tion of electric light and power. 

In this case the concrete pole is 
again cheaper than the steel pole from 

the very start, and by a large percent- 
age, while it becomes cheaper than 
the wooden pole only after the third 

Summing up the financial aspect of 
the matter as shown from the above 
data, we have the following: 



Wooden Poles 

Steel Poles 

Concrete Poles 




graph & 





graph & 

Total cost in 50 years 









Necessary Sinking Fund. . . . 

SO. 96 








The Plant Owner's and the Operating 

Engineer's Problem 


THE plant owner and the men in 
charge of isolated plants, and 
also those young men who some 
day hope to be entrusted with the 
care of a power plant, are, by many 
very plain signs, confronted by a 
problem, the solution of which cannot 
be avoided if the operating engineer 
wishes to continue the existence of his 

In the term operating engineer is 
included all those who are working 
and striving to become members of 
the vocation, because the operating 
engineer's cause is one and identical 
with that of those men, and should 
be regarded as such by all. 

It is a problem which has its ex- 
act counterpart in many other callings 
the whole country over, and it must 
be studied and attacked not only by 
the single-handed endeavor of the in- 
dividual and thoughtful operating en- 
gineer, but it needs the close atten- 
ten of the plant owner as well. 

The individual endeavor of the en- 
gineer is no doubt of great value in 
that particular isolated instance where 
it is practised, but solving a question 
like this, which is only one of the 
many evidences of an important and 
far-reaching industrial problem be- 
fore this country, makes it an im- 
perative duty resting on every one 
of us who depend for our living on 
the operating engineer's vocation, to 
study with open mind and carefully 
the question in its relation to our- 
selves and to the owners of plants as 
well. We must come to a conclusion 

as to what is wanted in order for us 
to solve it, and also how to attack the 
solution of it. 

If the operating engineers of to- 
day, and those who hope to become 
such, could be made to realize : first, 
their common interest ; and second, 
the community of interest existing be- 
tween them and the respective plant 
owners, we would be far on the way 
to a solution. 

The fact stands out with increasing 
clearness, that the vital problem be- 
fore plant owners and operating en- 
gineers alike, is the need of securing 
the right candidates for engineer's li- 
cense and positions of trust in the 
engine-room. In fact, the operating 
engineers must learn to see that their 
problem is a contest for personal fit- 
ness and efficiency, and that economy 
in production and consumption of 
power is the employer's problem and 
just demand. 

Our generally prevailing methods 
of meeting this just demand are 
wrong and hurtful to both employer 
and employee. 

It is a ruinous policy for all of us 
to allow a man to seek to receive a 
position for which he does not pos- 
sess the needed qualifications and a 
trained practical experience. These 
facts realized, we ought to get to- 
gether and drop distinctions, and will- 
ingly do our full duty to each other 
in diagnosing our case frankly. When 
we have agreed that the fault, to a 
great extent, rests with us as a class 
of artisans, we ought to begin at once 

to discuss the remedy, and when one 
is agreed upon, we must learn to ap- 
ply it unsparingly. 

What sense is there in complaining 
and finding fault with the plant own- 
ers, and in many cases treating them 
as natural enemies because they are 
not treating us right, when we really 
deserve much of it for what we do 
not do. 

Likewise, it may, of course, with 
equal right be asked of the plant own- 
ers, if they do not think it rather un- 
reasonable to expect the highest class 
of labor and the best results when they 
insist on twelve-hour watches every 
day and every night in the week. 


Disregarding entirely his qualifica- 
tions as a competent man, no one can 
deny the fact, that when a man is 
working twelve hours under ordinary 
engine-room conditions, he is simply 
not physically able to do full justice 
either to his job or to himself. 

Long hours in the operating en- 
gineer's occupation cannot lead to any- 
thing but serious injury and danger 
to a man's health ; continuing long 
hours of work in a hot engine-room 
he will eventually get sick and dis- 
gusted with everything and, being ill, 
his machinery is generally out of con- 
dition also. His family is disgruntled 
because real home life or a little so- 
ciability is not possible ; and as for 
going to church, he cannot think of 
that. He has no time. 

And thus, a man's system gradually 

April, 1909 



breaks down, subjecting him to all 
sorts of illness. Eventually he feels 
the real need of stimulants, and it is 
a serious truth that long working 
hours, unknowingly, lay the founda- 
tion for the power-plant worker's 
greatest enemy — the drink habit. 
Steam engineering and whisky make 
an explosive mixture. 

No doubt, many plant owners will 
not like this statement, but it is, never- 
theless, an evident and painful fact 
that this condition of affairs is brought 
on by the prevailing twelve-hour 
watches insisted on by many plant 
owners, much to their own detriment 
from a business standpoint. 

It is an imperative necessity that all 
plant owners consider this condition, 
for it will be brought to their atten- 
tion more and more forcibly that it 
must be remedied; and, remedying 
this, will do away with one of the 
most serious troubles existing in en- 
gine-rooms ; namely, the lack of time 
to study, and physical inability to do 
good work; furthermore, it will tend 
to remove a most serious and real 
danger to thousands of men and their 

The point for us operating engineers 
to see is the need of clearing our- 
selves from vulnerable spots, and 
making it impossible for the employ- 
er to find serious faults with our 
principles and methods. Only when 
we do this will it be possible for us 
to get a reasonable hearing and a 
chance to promote our cause. 

Every power user who employs a 
central station, or an operating com- 
pany in preference to his own crew, 
expresses plainly his dissatisfaction 
with the operating engineer, and he 
does this because he finds it neces- 
sary to reduce the expenses in his en- 
gineering department. The plant own- 
er is making the change generally 
because he suspects ignorance and un- 
fitness, with the resulting waste on 
the part of his crew. 

It can, without fear of contradic- 
tion, be said that these charges lodged 
against the operating engineers are 
the two real causes of the plant own- 
er's more or less prevalent dissatis- 


That grafting is present in an oc- 
casional engine-room is largely due 
to the peculiar fact that many plant 
owners neglect a plain duty totheir own 
business in not being willing to equip 
the plants with means which will en- 
able not only the engineer, but the 
owner to follow the plant performance 
and the output every day ; such means 
prevent, to a great extent, the pos- 
sibility of having dishonest men mak- 

ing costly repairs and changes where 
there is no actual need for them. 

The average employer does not ap- 
ply the same methods of close ac- 
counting in the engine-room which he, 
under all circumstances, would apply 
in any other department of his busi- 
ness, and for this he is blameworthy. 
This is the first remedy he applies to 
any other part of his business, and 
why not keep books on the engine- 

A common-sense accounting sys- 
tem is of great value to the engineer, 
in that it saves him from being charged 
with expenses not chargeable to his 
account, and at the same time he will 
find a daily cost-sheet to be an ex- 
cellent teacher of himself and his men. 
These are points of more importance 
than is realized by many plant owners 
and engineers. In fact, no plant own- 
er or ambitious engineer in large or 
small plants can long afford to neglect 
the need of making systematic operat- 
ing accounting a regular adjunct of 
every engine-room where efficiency 
in the men and economy in the plant 
is wanted. 

The fact that owners neglect these 
important points, presents a tempta- 
tion and chance to do various wrongs, 
and the opportunity presented is 
eagerly grasped by many unscrupu- 
lous supply dealers and contractors 
handling, in most cases, inferior ma- 
terial and who, for that reason, are 
unable to succeed except by unfair 
means of competition. 

The natural result of this lack of 
performance records and of operating 
accounts in the engine-room is that 
the head of the department can often 
continue unchecked with methods that 
put the expenses of the department 
entirely out of proportion to the bene- 
fits received by the owner. 

The wish to sell unfair goods and 
to take advantage of unfair compe- 
tition, a ready-tongued salesman, de- 
void of principle, and a weak engineer 
make a combination that produces the 
accomplished briber. It will certainly 
not be denied that he is the most pro- 
lific and chief source of corruption in 

The evil reputation! of a few en- 
gineers ought not to be heralded every- 
where by the operating companies and 
by central stations as true types of the 
operating engineer. Honest and hard 
workingmen suffer by it without any 
method of redress at present. That 
there is a real danger to our craft is 
attested by the fact that within re- 
cent years there have been organized 
what might be; termed policing operat- 
ing companies, who are to supervise 
us. The pernicious activity of the 
engineering supervising companies has 
been based on a condition more or 
less imaginary than real. That "graft 

was becoming a usual accompaniment 
to engine-room operation, and that 
in the purchase of oils, fuels and in 
the making of repairs it became the 
custom in more than one-half of the 
plants for the engineer to receive 
anywhere from 10 per cent, to 50 per 
cent, of the cost of the work," is not 
believable by any of us who know 
conditions at first-hand. Dishonesty 
is not more common in the engine- 
room than in any other calling. 

The appeal to the fear of plant 
owners by telling them how hopeless 
it is for private plants to exist with- 
out kindergarten supervision are fast 
wrecking what was once the most 
promising of careers open to young 
men of a mechanical turn of mind 
who seek congenial and remunerative 

It ought to be equally plain to en- 
gineers and men that both supervising 
companies and central stations calcu- 
late their volume of business is in ex- 
act proportion to their success in 
spreading the general belief that ig- 
norance and grafting are rampant in 
the majority of engine-rooms. From 
this it follows that we cannot expect 
any real assistance from that source, 
however much some of them profess 
to labor for our cause. 

The cry of graft is one of the fruit- 
ful causes of the employer's dissatis- 
faction. Such a charge is given more 
importance than it really deserves, be- 
cause it is sure to command every em- 
ployer's instant attention. 


Reverting to ignorance in the craft 
as the other main cause of dissatisfac- 
tion, it must first be admitted that the 
engineer sometimes grows up ignorant 
and unmindful of the importance of 
economical operating performance, not 
because he has chosen to be so, but 
because he has worked so long that 
he has no time for reading and reflec- 
tion. He has been tied so tight to his 
daily task that there has been no op- 
portunity of learning. It is not just to 
blame the engineer and his men, since 
much of the responsibility ought to be 
put on conditions over which the indi- 
vidual is powerless. 

That engineers know ignorance is 
common enough in the engine-room is 
attested by the work and lectures given 
in various engineer's associations. It 
is pleasing to note that this is also the 
fact in the Eccentric Firemen's Union. 
Indeed, we may say that in every asso- 
ciation of engine-room workers which 
is fortunate enough to have clear- 
headed and broad-minded men in the 
management it is insisted that igno- 
rance must be rooted out of the engine- 

Many organizations of operating en- 
gineers and other engine-room work- 



April, 1909 

ers have been organized with the ex- 
press purpose of overcoming this lack 
of proper knowledge among engi- 
neers ; but they are seemingly not rem- 
edying the trouble. Some of these or- 
ganizations barely exist, and show life 
to only a few favorite ones ; others 
have broken down completely from be- 
ing over-burdened by too much secrecy 
and clannishness, bad leadership and 
indefinite aims or no purposes what- 
ever ; others spend more time on pleas- 
ures than on serious study and the 
struggle for advancement. 

Most men when they have received 
a license to care for engine and boil- 
ers, or have received a union card to 
work as engineers or able mechanics, 
too often consider it unnecessary to 
learn more. Likewise, many do not 
consider it a duty to help others to 
qualify for positions of a like nature, 
but are willing to let the young man 
get along as best he may. 


Some of us have begun to see the 
error of such conduct, but lack the 
needed spirit of activity and love of 
right to do our full part in lifting the 
level of our vocation. 

Some attempts have been made in 
the right direction, but the result has 
not been encouraging; partly because 
the urgent need of the operating en- 
gineer's vocation has not been fully 
realized by the individual members, 
but mainly because the operating en- 
gineer and other plant workers have 
not been combined in one association 
with the fundamental aim of further- 
ing education and a spirit of co-opera- 
tion between themselves and plant 
owners. On the contrary, we are scat- 
tered in small bodies, many of which 
are completely at variance as to what 
are the real needs of the operating en- 
gineer and the plant owner. 

That plant owners have certain 
duties which they must consider if we 
are to have a fair opportunity to do 
our part in the solving of this impor- 
tant and far-reaching industrial prob- 
lem, I do not think will be denied by 
any of them who have seriously con- 
sidered the question. 

It is not my intention to offer theo- 
retical views and schemes to meet the 
situation confronting the plant owner 
and the operating engineer. I wish 
only to call attention to facts based on 
experience; facts which must be con- 
sidered by all concerned. In doing 
this I am simply trying to do my part 
to solve the problem by stating my 
view of the situation as I have found 
it in my own work in engine-rooms. 
I know from painful experience of 
many years the exertions of bodily 
strength and will-power, the drudg- 
ery, the hardships and the disappoint- 
ments a man must go through if he 

wishes to make himself a thoroughly 
able operating engineer while he is 
compelled to work unreasonably long 
hours under the trying conditions of 
the engine-room. 

While in principle the employer's 
demand for higher efficiency and 
economy is perfectly correct and just, 
its realization in general practice is 
neither possible nor reasonable unless 
the men are enabled to devote some 
time to study and recreation. This 
they are not able to do where twelve- 
hour watches are in use. 

I can assert without hesitation that 
it will not matter to the plant owner 
whether an operating company or his 
own men run the plant; real improve- 
ment cannot be expected so long as he 
insists on the twelve-hour watch. I 
firmly believe that the average em- 
ployer, with his discerning business 
sense and humane point of view, needs 
to have the case fully explained and 
presented as only the man in the en- 
gine-room feels it and sees it, for him 
to clearly perceive the injustice in de- 
manding improvement in his men 
when they are worn out by a twelve- 
hour day or night watch in a hot and 
often unsanitary engine-room. 


We need co-operation among the 
men in the engine-room, and in turn 
the men need the plant-owner's good- 
will and assistance. Co-operation is 
the essential basis for success on 
which the plant-owner and his engi- 
neering crew must work. Let us all 
realize that co-operation and its tre- 
mendous power is the basis of all un- 
dertakings ; without it success is im- 
possible. It is used in offense and de- 
fense ; its power is being recognized 
more and more, as is shown in the 
great business and labor consolida- 
tions of the present day. 

These consolidations are all based 
on this old principle of co-operation, 
and their whole future success or fail- 
ure depends entirely on how well its 
basic principle is understood and lived 
up to. Those who refuse to see or to 
admit that reward must be given for 
ambitious individual effort and per- 
sonal merit and efficiency, and that the 
presence of these attributes determine 
the success of any undertaking,, do not 
realize the full value of co-operation. 
Take away the reward for individual 
effort, and the vital enduring part of 
any co-operative scheme has been re- 
moved. No combination of any kind, 
be it capitalist or workmen, can exist 
or endure long unless provision is 
made for giving material reward for 
individual effort and efficiency. The 
demand for this is imperative and 
must be heeded in all cases according 
to the temper and circumstances of 

the men co-operatively acting to- 


To argue that special reward for 
merit is not needed, and to listen to 
such arguments, will only complicate 
the contest going on ; it will never 
right it. The demand for it may be 
held down for a while, but it will come 
forward again and again, since the be- 
lief in the right to such reward for in- 
dividual merit is firmly rooted in 
human nature, and is the basic motive 
of all achievement. 

The only reward for personal effort 
that is really appreciated by the work- 
ing-man is a material one, consisting 
in a money value, the size of which 
must be according to, and depend en- 
tirely on the worker's ability and de- 
gree of individual effort. In other 
words, where a man shows ability and 
does better than a good average, he 
ought to be rewarded by a cash re- 
ward above his wages. The employer 
who adopts this method will be well 
rewarded in better work, higher econ- 
omy, increased safety to machinery, 
and satisfied men. In fact,all signs in- 
dicate that this method of payment for 
work is the only sure and right course 
for employers to adopt if the reputa- 
tion of this country is to be sustained 
by the continued belief that here, at 
least, every individual has a right to 
elevate himself, and is entitled to a 
fair measure of success according to 
his own merit. 


The question is, what will the plant 
owners do about it? Their answer is 
indicated by the increased business of 
the central station; and that they are 
not basing their decision altogether on 
the economy question between the iso- 
lated plant and the central station, but 
also on the personal equation of the 
operating engineer and his men. This 
is proved by the recent activity of 
operating and supervision companies, 
who, in many cases, step in and com- 
pletely supplant the operating engi- 
neer, or try to ruin his position and 

That this statement is based on fact 
is evidenced by a pamphlet on engi- 
neering supervision and operation of 
power plants, mentioned editorially in 
Power and Engineer, December 29, 
1908. The pamphlet referred to con- 
tained a statement which every think- 
ing man ought to consider unfair to 
the operating engineer and his voca- 
tion in general ; but this is only one of 
the plain signs indicating the way 
many employers are answering the 
question, and it is well for the oper- 
ating engineer to heed the lesson be- 
fore it is too late. 

The proof of widespread dissatis- 
faction of power-users with the oper- 
ating engineer, in both large and small 

April, 1909 



plants, can be seen in the tremendous 
increase of power supplied by central 
stations, taking the chances of employ- 
ment away from hundreds of men al- 
ready holding- license, and reducing 
to nothing the chances of younger 
men who aspire to the operating engi- 
neer's vocation. 

This increase in central station ac- 
tivities is not shown in private plants 
only, but in the city's own plants where 
it is an exception to find anything but 
central station power in use. The 
reason for such conditions is freely 
admitted, and it is found in the plain 
statement that electric power is bought 
from a central station because it is 
believed that it pays the user to do so. 

It is entirely beside the question for 
engineers, single handed, or in asso- 
ciations, to explain or prove that 
power can be produced cheaper by the 
isolated plant. It is a well-known fact 
that even a small isolated plant, if 
well managed, can produce power 
cheaper than the central station will 
sell it. 

This fact is recognized and proven 
by hundreds of operating engineers, 
to the satisfaction of the respective 
plant owners, and the central stations 
are aware of it. In spite of this known 
and admitted ability of a well-man- 
aged isolated plant + o compete suc- 
cessfully, the central stations have a 
large increase in business every year. 
This proves conclusively that many 
owners find it to be either an out- 
right paying proposition to buy power, 
or they have concluded, in the case of 
new buildings, that in addition to the 
advantage of reduction in the first cost 
of machinery, they are freeing them- 
selves from the worry and expense in- 
cident to employing, often unwill- 
ingly, an unknown quantity for an 
engineer, who may cause all sorts of 
known and unknown expenses. 

The power user may admit the pos- 
sibility of saving money by having his 
own plant, and he would have it if 
he could be certain of the personal 
equation in his engineering crew. 
Unfortunately, he has no means of ar- 
riving at an intelligent conclusion, 
since the operating engineers have 
been so short-sighted as to overlook 
their real duty to themselves, as well as 
to the men who employ them, by not 
making it possible to supply tangible 
evidence of fitness, such as apprentice 
certificates, which could be used by 
the individual engineer, fireman or 
oiler when applying for a position, 
and which could confidently be ac- 
cepted by the employer as fairly con- 
clusive proof of the applicant's char- 
acter and ability. 

This very important duty being neg- 
lected by the operating engineers, 
the power user often concludes that 
the risk of having his own plant with 

its possible saving is too great, as 
compared with the central-station 
proposition, and in this view he is 
strongly urged by the central-station 

In the case of new buildings the 
decision as to which is preferable — 
the central station or the isolated 
plant, is obviously based on argument 
only, and both the central-station man 
and the operating engineer may claim 
to be right, and they usually do. 
Nevertheless, the central station keeps 
the business and gets more because 
the power user does not base his busi- 
ness acts on talk and sentiment, but 
on what promises to be the surest and 
best means for getting results and 
peace of mind. In the case of old 
buildings, the operating company must 
be reckoned with, and here it is a fair 
contest based on the well-known rule 
of the survival of the fittest. All sides 
have an equal chance to make good, 
and the power user can be trusted to 
take that side which his knowledge 
and experience in business tells him 
will give the desired results. The 
outcome will ultimately depend on the 
ability of the men operating the iso- 
lated plant, including all from the 
helper and coal-passer to the chief, to 
prove their fitness to give the em- 
ployer what he is entitled to, namely, 
results which will make it possible for 
any employer to see which method of 
procedure will give the greatest econ- 
omy and peace of mind. In fact, it 
must be made possible for him to see 
and to appreciate the benefits which 
do exist in an isolated plant managed 
and operated as a business undertak- 
ing by his own crew in charge of a 
competent operating engineer and 
good man. 

This can be done if the employer, 
the operating engineer, his assistants, 
and all the men make up their minds 
to run the plant with the sole purpose 
of developing every possibility in 
themselves and the machines. The 
vital truth, that if we wish success all 
must realize and build upon the com- 
mon interests, the men and the em- 


The next question is, what will the 
operating engineers and the men who 
hope to be engineers do about it? 
The isolated plants will continue to 
exist, and the employers must have 
somebody who can be trusted to do 
the thinking and planning to keep 
their plants in operation at an expense 
which can compete with the central 
station. Is it to be our men, or the 
operating company? That is the real 
and important question before the 
operating engineers to-day, because 
there is no doubt about the isolated 
plant being able to produce power for 

less money, and to do it more con- 
veniently to the user, than the central 
station. In this connection, we can all 
agree with Mr. T. M. Kelsey, Lowell, 
Mass., when he says in Power and 
Engineer, Jan. 12, 1909, "that com- 
petent engineers with co-operation on 
the part of the employer makes a com- 
bination that cannot be beaten." Mr. 
Kelsey gives the best remedy possible 
for the solution of the whole problem : 
competency in men and the employ- 
ers' co-operation. 

To reach this desirable end, the 
chief operating engineer should insist 
on having sufficient means to properly 
run the plant. These include a com- 
mon-sense system of accounting which 
will be a help and a guide to him in 
regulating the expenses and his work, 
as well as a medium of proper busi- 
ness intercourse with his employer. 
All guess-work as to operating costs 
must, as far as possible, be eliminated. 
The accounting system must be ar- 
ranged with the one central idea that 
whatever the engineer and his men 
do, the expense involved, as well as 
the benefit derived, should be as an 
open book to the employer. 

From the competitive point of view, 
it depends upon the operating engi- 
neer's ability as to whether the plant 
owner can afford to keep him in 
charge of the engine-room. 

To make this possible, it is of im- 
portance to the employer that he 
shows willingness to make reasonable 
hours of work and material advance- 
ment possible. His willingness to 
make his mind up to do this rests, of 
course, primarily on the crew's suc- 
cess, in the all-deciding point of ma- 
king it pay for the employer. If the 
operating engineer can do this, the 
average plant owner's business ability 
can be depended upon in all cases to 
make him willing to allow all reason- 
able demands of him and his men. 

On the other hand, if we as a class 
do not prove to the plant owner's en- 
tire satisfaction that to keep us is the 
cheapest and best policy, nothing — 
neither more license legislation nor 
stronger unions — will ever compel 
him or make him willing or able to 
save us from the fate which will 
necessarily be ours, when the en- 
gineer, from a business standpoint, 
the only one possible, has been proven 
an inferior custodian to the central 
station or operating company. 

Should it prove that the operating 
companies come out the victors, the 
existing license laws will relegate the 
operating engineer to a position where 
he is powerless to shape his own des- 
tiny or future, although he will still, 
before the law, be held responsible for 
the consequences of the acts of other 
people: In other words, he will be a 
legal figure-head, etc. He will be 



April, 1909 

stripped of all authority and position. 
WhateVer an ambitious operating en- 
gineer' may do fdr plant betterment 
will be to the operating company's 
credit, and not to his, because he will 
be only a cog driven and directed by 
the operating company's central engi- 
neering office. He will be given the 
longest working hours possible for 
seven days in the week, with far less 
pay per hour than a hod-carrier re- 
ceives. All avenues to material ad- 
vancement and promotion will be cut 
off or depend entirely on the good- 
will of the operating company. 

Admitting that much is attempted 
and done for men who hold license as 
engineers, it still remains a singular 
fact that no notice whatever is paid 
by the operating engineers to the 
young men who some day hope to be- 
come members of their ranks, and 
how these men will qualify for the in- 
creasing importance of work and re- 
sponsibility thrown on the man who 
is to take the chief operating posi- 
tions now at hand and still coming, 
and how they, without trained experi- 
ence, are to satisfy the employer who 
is to have the benefit of the newly 
made engineer's first attempt and 
quest for experience, is hard to im- 


It is also significant that no con- 
certed attempt has been made by the 
operating engineers to get the plant 
owner's opinion, much less his co- 
operation, on the situation, although 
he is the center around which the 
three-cornered contest between the 
central station, the operating compa- 
nies and ourselves is raging often to 
his complete confusion. He is the 
prize we all want to claim as our own. 
Is it not reasonable that he is rather 
weary of it, and longs to be given a 
chance to put in a word? The cen- 
tral station and the operating com- 
pany's men visit him, talk with him, 
and present all sorts of alluring vi- 
sions of splendid savings that will be 
his if he will only put himself in their 
care and sign a contract to the effect 
that they, and they only, are capable 
of running that part of his business. 

Would it not be a good policy for 
us to quit depending so much on our 
legislative entrenchments and do some 
drumming on our own account, as the 
others ; r do, by frankly and modestly 
asking our employers to help and to 
co-operate in helping them run their 
own business with profit? We need 
not ask. for contracts of any kind, but 
only ask their earnest and willing co- 

It is for the employers, operating 
engineers and their men to give the 
future careful and close attention, and 
the operating engineers must realize 

that the dajys of the untrained, per- 
sonally irresponsible incompetent man 
in the engine-room are ended. We 
must see to it that he is either trained 
or pushed aside as a back number and 
out of place. His complete retire- 
ment from places of trust must be 
considered a need and a matter of 

We must not alone realize this to 
be a duty, but we must act unitedly 
and systematically with this truth as 
a background for our methods of ac- 
tion and base our campaign for more 
reliable and better-fitted men, better 
conditions, as well as better chances 
for the plant owner to meet his obli- 
gations through co-operation with his 

Good understanding between the 
employer and employee, and mutual 
willingness to help each other in 
everything, can only be reached 
through earnest efforts, based on 
right and honest principles. 

Such a campaign instituted by all 
engine-room workers, as well as plant 
owners, since they are just as vitally 
interested as we are, is bound to make 
itself felt by all concerned, because 
it will tend to reach the desired goal 
of cheaper power, providing we are 
sufficiently broad-minded, fearless and 

Such a campaign must be based on 
the proposition that the operating en- 
gineers, to gain the complete confi- 
dence of the power users and the 
public in general, must remove the 
causes of the existing dissatisfaction 
with them. To be in a fair way to 
succeed in doing this, we ought all, 
employers and men, be together in one 
society, since the problem before us 
is national in extent. Such a com- 
bination could fittingly be called the 
National Society of Operating En- 


The fundamental aim of such a 
society would be to take a united and 
fearless stand based on a strong re- 
solve to face the future, and together 
do our full share in the solution of 
the economic problems confronting us. 

The use of the time-honored power 
which resides in co-operation, based 
on correct principle, and executed by 
correct methods, will ultimately bring 
us nearer to the point where there 
will be peace and harmony between 
employer and employee. 

It will teach both sides the need 
of fair treatment, a treatment which, 
in all cases, ought to be based on the 
most honored, practical rule of human 
conduct: "Do unto others as you 
wish to be done by." If we really 
and honestly try to let that rule be 
our guiding principle, we are certain 

to win out. We must show the em- 
ployers what we need, and prove to' 
them that our need is also their need. 
We must have a recognized means 
through which we can express our 
needs, and convince them of the com- 
munity of interest between us. We 
must learn to study and to set forth 
our own case, and not to depend on 
others who do not always wholly un- 
derstand our conditions and needs. 
By such concerted action we can, with 
more ease and hope of success, show 
the way by which improvement for 
both sides can be secured. Set rules 
and regulations cannot be made to. 
work in every case. To give flexibility 
to the proceedings of the society a 
central forum should be provided as 
a help in arranging conditions to put 
both owner and men in a fair way 
to final satisfactory adjustment of dif- 

This forum must be competent to 
sit as a sort of arbitration court be- 
fore any plant is given over to a cen- 
tral station or to an operating com- 
pany by which step both the owner 
and the men generally lose. 

The only sure way to win the re- 
gard and confidence of owners and 
men is by the method outlined, for 
employers and employees can never 
expect to work together in harmony 
unless there is mutual respect and co- 
operation in educating and helping 
each other to regard the Golden Rule 
as the only workable and enduring 
principle on which we can safely base 
all our actions. 

In concluding, the problem before 
us may partially be summed up under 
the following heads : 

A national society of operat- 
ing engineers, including plant own- 
ers, as advisers and associate mem- 
bers, ought to be organized to facili- 
tate the work which must be done 
to solve the problem; this society to 
be a central vocational forum, where 
the employer and employe of all 
grades may, at all times, meet to dis- 
cuss conditions and agree on prin- 
ciples and methods of action best 
suited to the needs of all. 

In order to secure better-fitted con- 
didates for positions as operating en- 
gineers, the society ought to institute 
a suitable apprenticeship method for 
plant workers. That this aim may 
be furthered, ambitious young men 
ought to be included in the proposed 
society as probationary machinery op- 
erators and firemen apprentices ; and 
to encourage such young men in their 
work for self-improvement. The so- 
ciety should issue a service certificate 
to any young man who has the pre- 
scribed education and who receives 
the employer's and the chief operating 
engineer's recommendation for two 
years' continuous service, as being of 

April, 1909 



good habits and possessing mechanical 
adaptability. This certificate would 
entitle the bearer to be entered in the 
membership book as an apprentice 
member and to seek experience in 
other engine-rooms. 

To further the needed spirit of vo- 
cational pride, apprentice members 
with a. clean record and four years' 
practical experience, thorough and 
honest training in useful engine-room 
work, either as machinery operators 
or firemen, will be given the society 
certificate of merit and recommenda- 
tion as a proof of possessing practical 
skill and for having passed the pre- 
scribed course of study required of 
machinery operators and firemen. 
This would entitle the bearer to be 
entered in the membership book as a 
junior member. 

Ambitious junior members of the 
society having a clean record and at 
least 5 years' actual engine-room ex- 
perience, including a specified time as 
machinery operator and firemen, will, 
upon giving satisfactory proof of hav- 
ing passed the prescribed course in 
plant management, receive the society 

certificate and recommendation as an 
operating engineer, entitling the bear- 
er to have his name entered in the 
membership book as a full member of 
the society. 

It must be our aim to adopt prac- 
tical methods, which will enable the 
operating engineers to organize a sys- 
tematic and effective educational cam- 
paign in behalf of the vocation, that 
its standing may be elevated and its 
importance better appreciated by its 
present and prospective members, as 
well as by the plant owners and the 
public in general. 

We must make it our aim to base 
the work of the proposed Society on 
such enduring principles and methods 
that eventually the prestige and value 
of the operating engineers vocation 
will be such that the very best young 
men will be drawn in as apprentice 

To make it possible to reach our 
goal, we must all, employers and em- 
ployees alike, learn that co-operation 
and willingness to help each other are 
the basic principles by which we must 
lay our course. 

Tests of Electric Meters in New YorK City 

A REPORT on the various types 
of electric meters in use in New 
York City, made by Cary T. 
Hutchinson for the Public Service 
Commission, contains some interesting 
facts regarding their accuracy under 
various conditions. It was found that 
all the direct-current meters submitted 
for test were capable of accurate reg- 
istration while in first-class condition 
and properly mounted. They were all 
Thomson Recording Wattmeters, 
made by the General Electric Co. 

The report gives an outline specifi- 
cation embodying the various points 
necessary in a meter for accurate serv- 
ice. The range of load and voltage 
called for are considerably in excess of 
the variations which ordinarily arise 
under service conditions, these wide 
limits being chosen to get a measure- 
able difference in registration, and at 
the same time to indicate the maxi- 
mum error that might arise under ex- 
treme conditions of operation ; the lim- 
its of error in registration specified 
refer to the tests made under labora- 
tory conditions, where the meter can 
be carefully mounted and adjusted 
and every precaution taken to secure 
high accuracy in the measurement of 
the various quantities involved. 

In regard to the adjustment of the 
meter at full load and light load, par- 
ticular attention is called to the fact 
that in a number of the meters there is 
a marked shifting from day to day of 

these two supposedly fixed points on 
the registration curve (in some cases 
as much as two per cent.), the meter 
being left untouched in the laboratory, 
subject to no outside influence except 
slight variations in the room tempera- 

To determine just what causes 
these variations would require a pro- 
longed investigation ; they are, how- 
ever, probably due to temperature ef- 
fects. In making comparative tests 
under various conditions, therefore, 
frequent determinations of the accu- 
racy of registration at these two points 
should be made and the proper correc- 
tion allowed for any change that may 
occur, particularly if the tests extend 
over a considerable period. 

i. Mechanical Construction. 

Material and workmanship to be 
first-class in every particular, all fixed 
parts to be securely held in their 
proper position, moving element to be 
as light as possible consistent with 
proper strength, and all bearing sur- 
faces to be designed to reduce friction 
to the minimum. 

2. Accuracy of Adjustment. 
Meter to be capable of adjustment 

to register with an error of less than 
one per cent. ( I % ) the true value of 
energy supplied through the meter at 
rated voltage and at either rated cur- 
rent or io per cent, of rated current. 

3. Accuracy of Registration Under 

Various Conditions of Load and Volt- 

After the meter has been adjusted 
as specified under Clause 2, it shall 
register with an error of less than two 
per cent. (2%) the true value of the 
energy supplied through it at rated 
voltage at any current from 10 per 
cent, of rated current to 150 per cent, 
of rated current ; the error in registra- 
tion at 5 per cent, of rated current and 
at rated voltage shall not be greater 
than seven and one-half per cent. 
(7.5%) ; the change in the accuracy of 
registration for a 10 per cent, change 
in voltage either above or below nor- 
mal shall not exceed three per cent. 
(3%) at rated current of five per 
cent. (5%) at 10 per cent, of rated 

4. Accuracy of Three-Wire Me- 

The change in the accuracy of reg- 
istration of a three-wire meter when 
either one of the current coils is cut 
out of circuit shall not exceed three 
per cent. (3%) for rated current 
through the remaining coil. 

5. Effect of Change in Tempera- 

The change in registration of the 
meter when the temperature of the 
room in which it is installed rises from 
50 ° to ioo° F. shall not be more than 
five per cent. (5%) at rated voltage at 
either rated current or 10 per cent, of 
rated current. 

6. Effect of Temporary Overloads. 

A temporary overload (three sec- 
onds) of 300 per cent, of rated current 
applied five consecutive times shall not 
cause a permanent change of registra- 
tion at rated voltage and rated cur- 
rent of more than two and one-half 
per cent. (2.5%) for meters having a 
rated current capacity of less than 600 
amperes, or of more than five per 
cent. (5%) for meters of larger ca- 
pacity ; the permanent change in regis- 
tration at 10 per cent, of rated current 
and rated voltage, due to such over- 
loading, shall in no case exceed 5 per 

7. Loss in Current Coils. 

For meters rated at 50 amperes or 
less the total loss in the current coils 
at rated load shall not be more than 
one per cent. (1%) of the total power 
supplied; for larger meters this loss 
shall not exceed two-tenths of one per 
cent. (0.2%). 

This specification covers only those 
characteristics of the meter which may 
effect the accuracy of registration 
from the consumer's point of view; 
that is, a meter which fulfils the above 
specification, will, when properly in- 
stalled and correctly adjusted, show no 
tendency to over-register, within the 
limits specified, under normal condi- 
tions of operation. There are, how- 



April, 1909 

ever, a number of other points which 
affect the excellence of an energy 
meter; namely, the friction of the 
moving element, the power lost in fric- 
tion, in the potential circuit, and in 
the disc, the speed of the meter, the 
driving torque, the weight of the mov- 
ing element, the ratio of driving 
torque to weight, and the ratio of driv- 
ing torque to frictional torque. These 
data have been determined for all me- 
ters submitted, and in general it may 
be stated that it is desirable that a me- 
ter have the least possible friction, 
small loss in potential coil, high ratio 
of driving torque to weight, and high 
ratio of driving torque to frictional 

The following points regarding the 
design and use of the Thomson watt- 
meter should also be noted: 

1. The internal connections of a 
Thomson meter are such that the 
losses in the meter are borne in part 
by the supply company and in part by 
the consumer; the former stands the 
losses in the potential circuit, disc, and 
frictional resistance, the latter pays for 
the loss in the current coils. Conse- 
quently, from the consumer's point of 
view, the loss in the current coils only 
is of importance. 

2. A heavy overload, such as a 
short circuit in the installation sup- 
plied through the meter, may cause a 
considerable weakening of the perma- 
nent magnets, and thus cause the me- 
ter to run fast. No attempt, however, 
was made to determine the effect of 
overloads greater than 300 per cent, 
of full load, as it is always pos- 
sible to protect a meter from heav- 
ier overloads by installing proper 
fuses or circuit breakers. If the me- 
ter is not so protected the consumer 
should be warned that a heavy short 
circuit may make his meter run con- 
siderably fast, and a readjustment of 
its speed after such a heavy overload 
should be requested. It should be 
noted, however, that the later designs 
of the Thomson meter are much less 
affected by overloads than the earlier 
types, as the magnets are so designed 
and are so arranged with reference to 
the current coils as to reduce this ef- 
fect to a minimum. 

3. The magnetic field produced by 
other instruments or wiring in the 
vicinity of a wattmeter may affect the 
registration to a considerable extent ; 
particularly when the meter is in- 
stalled on a switchboard on which are 
located bus-bars carrying heavy cur- 
rents ; the result may be either an 
over-registration or an under-regis- 
tration, depending on the direction of 
the stray fields. By adjusting the me- 
ter after it is installed the effect of any 
constant stray field can be compen- 
sated for, but accurate registration is 

impossible when these effects are large 
and variable. 

4. A wattmeter should always be 
installed in such a manner as to reduce 
mechanical vibrations to a minimum, 
as the friction of the meter is largely 
affected by such variations, which may 
cause the meter to run continuously or 
to "creep" when no current is being 
supplied through it. 

As with the direct-current meters, 
specification was formulated for alter- 
nating-current meters, based on tests 
and examinations, stating the limits of 
the permissible error in registration 
for such meters when in first-class 

The following "types" of meters 
were found to comply with this outline 
specification : 


Type I 

" IP-2 

" D-3 


Round Type — two wire 
Type A — three wire, self con- 
A — three wire, with cur- 
rent transformer 
B — two wire 
B — two wire, prepayment 
C — two wire 
" C — three wire 


Type G — 2d form 
Jewel type 


Type K. 

These types are described in detail 
below. Although only one meter of 
each type was tested, Mr. Hutchinson 
was of the opinion that a meter prop- 
erly constructed in accordance with 
the design of any one of these types 
will, when in good condition, register 
accurately within the limits specified. 
In the case of those meters designed 
to be used with a current transformer 
the tests have covered both the meter 
and the transformer, and in the speci- 
fication the meter and the transformer 
are to be considered as a unit. 

The following meters failed to meet 
the requirements of the specification in 
certain particulars ; with the excep- 
tion of the Westinghouse type C, poly- 
phase, these are all meters of early de- 
sign and are no longer manufactured. 
A more extended investigation of 
these types may show that the discrep- 
ancies noted are due to defects in the 
individual meters rather than to de- 
fects in design. The only meters de- 
parting radically from the specifica- 
tion are the Duncan meters, made by 
the Siemens-Halske Company of 

America, and the General Electric 
Company's type C-i, the large errors 
shown by these two meters being due 
to excessive friction in the bearing 
surfaces, which could not be elimi- 


Type C-i — On account of the ab- 
normal friction in this meter, the error 
at 10 per cent, rated current was 36.0 
per cent, with the registering mechan- 
ism in place ; a second meter of this 
type was also tested, but gave no bet- 
ter results. On account of this large 
error at light load the tests under vari- 
ous conditions of voltage, power-fac- 
tor, etc., are of little value as indicat- 
ing the effect of varying these factors 
on a meter of this type capable of 
proper adjustment. 

Type C-4 — This meter comes within 
the specification except at 10 per cent, 
rated watts and 50 per cent, power-fac- 
tor, where the error was — 4.6 per 
cent, as against ±4.0 per cent, al- 
lowed in the specification. 

Type DF-2-PP — This meter comes 
within the specification, except at 100 
per cent, rated watts, no per cent. 
frequency and 75 per cent, power-fac- 
tor, where the error was — 4.4 per 
cent, as against ±4.0 per cent, al- 
lowed in the specification. The three- 
phase test was not made on this meter. 

Type DF-2 — This meter comes 
within the specification, except at 100 
per cent, rated watts and 50 per cent, 
power-factor, where the error was 
— 5.2 per cent, as against — 4.0 per 
cent, allowed in the specification. 


Round Type, Three-Wire, with 
Transformer — This meter comes 
within the specification, except at two 
points, namely, at 5 per cent, rated 
current, where the error was 3.5 per 
cent, as against ±2.5 per cent, al- 
lowed in the specification ; and at 10 
per cent, rated watts and 50 per cent, 
power-factor, when the error was 
+4.9 per cent, as against ±4.0 per 
cent, allowed in the specification. 

Round Type, Polyphase — This type 
of meter is not provided with any 
means of adjusting one motor element 
with respect to the other ; it was 
therefore impossible to make the two 
elements exert the same effect on the 
disc. In this particular meter it was 
found that for 10 per cent, rated cur- 
rent through the two elements sepa- 
rately the errors were respectively 
— 3.6 per cent, and -\-2& per cent., and 
with rated current through the two 
elements separately the errors were re- 
spectively — 3.0 per cent and +3.4 
per cent. When the current coils of 
the two elements were connected in 

Aprri t 1909 



series the error in registration came 
within the specified limits. On ac- 
count of the considerable difference 
in the accuracy of registration of the 
two elements separately, this meter 
would also fail to meet the require- 
ments of the polyphase test. 

Type C, Polyphase — The polyphase 
test on this meter showed a maximum 
difference of 3.1 per cent, in the ac- 
curacy of registration when operating 
three-phase and when operating 
single phase ; to determine whether 
this comparatively large discrepancy 
is due to faulty construction of this 
particular meter or whether it is in- 
herent in the design, would require a 
careful investigation of several meters 
of this type. In other respects this 
meter came well within the specifica- 


Type G, Old Form — This meter 
comes within the specification, except 
at 10 per cent, rated current and no 
per cent, frequency, where the error 
was +2.3 per cent, as against ±2.0 
per cent, allowed in the specification. 


Type Gutmann — This meter failed 
to come within the specification at 10 
per cent, rated current and 90 per 
cent, voltage, where the error was 
— 4.8 per cent, as against ±2.0 per 
cent, allowed in the specification; at 
10 per cent, rated watts and 50 per 
cent, power-factor, where the error 
was — 9.0 per cent, as against ±4.0 
per cent ; also a change in temperature 
of 50 F. caused a change in the reg- 
istration of 7.0 per cent, at 10 per cent, 
rated current and 5.5 per cent, at rated 
current, as against 4.0 per cent, al- 
lowed in the specification. This meter 
was found very unstable in inaccuracy, 
changing considerably from day to 


Type Duncan — The error in the 
registration of this meter at 10 per 
cent, rated current was — 12.7 per cent, 
as against ±1.0 per cent, allowed in the 
specification. On account of this large 
error at light load the tests under vari- 
ous conditions of voltage, power-fac- 
tor, etc., are not a fair indication of the 
effect of varying these factors in a 
meter of this type capable of proper 

As some of the older Thomson com- 
mutator wattmeters are still in use in 
this district on alternating-current cir- 
cuits, one of these meters, General 
Electric Company's Type D-2, Maker's 
No. 684034, was tested on a 60-cycle, 
alternating-current circuit at 100 per 
cent., 75 per cent, and 50 per cent, 
power- factor. The errors in registra- 

tion under the various conditions were 
as follows : 

Watts in 100% 

per cent, of Power- 
rated watts. factor. 










+ II.O 


+ 4-5 

that is, the meter runs fast on low 
power-factors. These results would 
be expected since, on account of the 
reactance of the potential circuit, the 
current supplied through the meter at 
low power-factors lags behind the cur- 
rent in the potential circuit by a 
smaller angle than it does behind 
the impressed voltage. Commutator 
wattmeters therefore are suitable only 
for measuring energy supplied at a 
power- factor of practically ioo per 


1. General. 

In the case of a three-wire single- 
phase meter, the limits of error speci- 
fied, unless otherwise stated, refer to 
tests made with the two current coils 
connected in series and rated voltage 
applied to the potential circuit. In 
the case of a polyphase meter the lim- 
its of error specified, unless otherwise 
stated, refer to tests made with single- 
phase current, with both current coils 
of the meter in series and the two po- 
tential circuits in parallel and con- 
nected to a single-phase source of pres- 

2. Mechanical Construction. 
Material and workmanship to be 

first-class in every particular, all fixed 
parts to be securely held in their 
proper position, moving element to be 
as light as possible consistent with 
proper strength, and all bearing sur- 
faces to be designed to reduce friction 
to the minimum. 

3. Accuracy of Adjustment. 

Single-phase meters to be capable 
of adjustment to register with an error 
of less than one per cent. (i%) the 
true value of energy supplied through 
the meter at rated voltage and fre- 
quency and 100 per cent, power-factor, 
at either rated current or 10 per cent, 
of rated current. 

Each element of a three-phase meter 
to be capable of independent adjust- 
ment so that the meter will register on 
a single-phase circuit with an error of 
less than one per cent. ( I % ) the true 
value of the energy supplied at normal 
frequency and ioo per cent, power-fac- 
tor through either element alone, for 
either rated current or 10 per cent, of 
rated current through that element, 
with normal single-phase voltage ap- 
plied to both elements. 

4. Accuracy of Registration Un- 
der Various Conditions of Load and 

After the meter has been adjusted 
as specified under Clause 3, it shall 
register with an error of less than two 
per cent. (2%) the true value of the 
energy supplied through it at rated 
voltage, frequency and 100 per cent, 
power-factor at any current from 10 
per cent, of rated current to 100 per 
cent, of rated current ; the error in reg- 
istration under the same conditions at 
5 per cent, rated current and 150 per 
cent, rated current shall not be greater 
than two and one-half per cent. 
(2.5%) ; the change in the accuracy of 
registration at rated frequency and 
100 per cent, power-factor for a 10 per 
cent, change in voltage either above or 
below normal, shall not exceed one per 
cent. (1%) at either rated current or 
at 10 per cent, of rated current. 

5. Effect of Change in Frequency 
and Power-Factor. 

A change in the power- factor of the 
load supplied through the meter at 
normal voltage and frequency from 
100 per cent, to 50 per cent, lagging 
shall not cause an increase in the speed 
of the meter at rated watts of more 
than two per cent. (2%), or a de- 
crease of more than 4 per cent. (4%) 
and shall not cause an increase or de- 
crease of speed at 10 per cent, of rated 
watts of more than four per cent. 


A change of 10 per cent, in the fre- 
quency of the current supplied 
through the meter at normal voltage 
and 100 per cent, power-factor shall 
not cause a change in the accuracy of 
registration at either rated current or 
10 per cent, of rated current of 
more than two per cent. (2%). 

A change of 10 per cent, in the fre- 
quency of the current together with a 
change in the power- factor from 100 
per cent, to 75 per cent, lagging, the 
voltage being held at its rated value, 
shall not change the speed of the meter 
at either rated watts or 10 per cent, of 
rated watts more than four per cent. 

6. Accuracy of Three-Wire Single- 
Phase Meters. 

The change in the accuracy of a 
three-wire single-phase meter at rated 
voltage, frequency and 100 per cent, 
power-factor, when either one of the 
current coils is cut out of circuit shall 
not exceed two per cent. (2%) for 
rated current through the remaining 

7. Accuracy of Polyphase Meters. 
A polyphase meter when adjusted 

on single-phase current, as described 
above under Clause 3, shall also regis- 
ter on a polyphase circuit at rated 
voltage and frequency within one per 
cent. (1%) of the same accuracy 
shown on the single-phase test, both at 
10 per cent, rated current and at rated 



April, 190? 

current at both ioo per cent, power- 
factor and 50 per cent, power-factor. 

8. Effect of Change in Tempera- 

The change in registration of the 
meter when the temperature of the 
room in which it is installed rises from 
50 to ioo° F. shall not be more than 
four per cent. (4%) at rated voltage 
at either rated current or 10 per cent, 
of rated current. 

9. Effect of Temporary Overloads. 

A temporary overload (three sec- 
onds) of 300 per cent, of rated cur- 
rent applied five consecutive times 
shall not cause a permanent change of 
registration at rated voltage at either 
rated current or 10 per cent, of rated 
current of more than one per cent. 

10. Loss in Current Coils. 

The total loss in the current coils of 
the meter at rated current shall not ex- 
ceed five-tenths of one per cent. 
(0.5%) of the rated watts of the me- 

As in the case of the direct-current 
meters, this specification covers only 
those characteristics of the meter 
which may effect the accuracy of reg- 
istration unfavorably to the consumer. 
The following points regarding the 
design and use of alternating-current 
wattmeters should also be noted : 

1. The internal connections of' 
these meters is such that the losses in 
the current coils of the meter are 
borne by the consumer ; the other 
losses are borne by the Supply Com- 

2. A heavy overload, such as a 
short circuit in the installation sup- 
plied through the meter, may cause 
weakening of the magnets and thus 
cause the meter to run fast, but- the 
effect of such overloads on alternating- 
current meters is, as a rule, not as 
great as with direct-current meters. 

3. Unidirectional stray magnetic 
fields of constant magnitude have no 
effect on the registration of an alter- 
nating-current meter ; fluctuating stray 
fields or fields due to alternating-cur- 
rent circuits in the vicinity of the meter 
may, however, affect its registration. 
By adjusting the meter after it is in- 
stalled, the effect of any such field of 
constant magnitude can be eliminated, 
but accurate registration is impossible 
when such stray fields are large and 

4. Care should be taken to install 
the meter in a manner to reduce me- 
chanical vibrations to a minimum ; the 
final adjustment of the speed at 10 per 
cent, and 100 per cent, rated current 
should be made after the meter is in- 
stalled and connected, taking the volt- 
age and current for this purpose from 
the supply mains. 

5. On account of the high react- 
ance of the potential circuit of an in- 
duction meter, together with the fact 
that the coils in this circuit are wound 
on iron cores, the effective value of 
the current flowing in this circuit for 
a given impressed voltage will depend 
upon the shape of the pressure wave ; 
consequently, the torque and therefore 
the speed, for a given load supplied 
through the meter, will be a function 
of this wave shape. In case the pres- 
sure on a given circuit has a varying 
wave form, as may happen, for exam- 
ple, if the circuit is supplied from dif- 
ferent generators at various times, the 
effect of the maximum variation in 
wave form on the accuracy of the me- 
ter should be determined, and no meter 
should be allowed on this circuit which 
is appreciably affected by such varia- 
tions. If the pressure on the circuit 
has a constant wave form, even 
though it may not be a true sine wave, 
then, by adjusting the meter after it is 
installed, using for this purpose the 
pressure on the supply circuit, the par- 
ticular form of this wave will be im- 
material, provided the accuracy of the 
standard with which the service meter 
is compared is not affected by wave 
form variations. In the case of a 
polyphase meter, each element should 
be adjusted to read correctly when 
connected to the particular phase on 
which it is to operate. 

A HigH-Tension Direct-Current 

The recent inauguration of service 
on the Pittsburg, Harmony, Butler & 
New Castle Railway, brings to mind 
the fact that it is the pioneer road in 
the field of high-tension direct-cur- 
rent railway electrification. Although 
the Indianapolis & Louisville Railway 
was the first road in this country to 
use 1200 volts on the trolley, the plans 
and specifications for the Pittsburg, 
Harmony, Butler & New Castle Rail- 
way were prepared at an earlier date. 

Power is generated at Harmony 
Junction by two 1300-kw. three-phase 
60-cycle Curtis steam turbines of the 
vertical type, and transmitted at 13,- 
200 volts to substations ' located at 
Shenango and Perrysville. The tur- 
bines are standard machines with two 
rows of buckets per stage, and are 
equipped with miechanically-operated 
valves and oil stop bearings. They 
operate condensing, the usual vacuum 
obtained being 2834 in. In each of 
the substations there are two motor- 
generator sets, each set consisting of 
two 200-kw. 600-volt direct-current 
generators, direct connected to a 
425-kw. 13,200-volt synchronous mo- 
tor. The armatures of the two gen- 
erators are connected in series, giving 
a trolley potential of 1200 volts. A 


substation in the power-house is simi- 
larly equipped and supplies both the 
Butler section and the central portion 
of the system. 

With the exception of 4 miles of 
600-volt trolley on the city lines at 
the Pittsburg end, the entire railway 
system is operated at 1200 volts. A 
grooved No. 4/0 trolley wire is used,, 
this being strung double the entire 
length of the road. There are at 
present 14 four-motor passenger cars 
in use, although in the near future two 
cars for freight service will be put 
in operation. 

The motors on both the passenger 
and freight cars are of the G. E.-205 
commutating-pole 600/ 1200- volt type 
and are connected into two groups of 
two in series, this grouping being the 
same for both the 600 and 1200- volt 
service. With the exception of ex- 
tra insulation on the motor circuit, the 
control is practically the standard auto- 
matic form of type M control. Con- 
trol connections are made so that 
should the motorman release the con- 
troller handle power will be shut off 
the motors and the brakes applied. 
The brakes used are of the standard 
G. E. Emergency Straight Air Type, 
with a differential form of governor 

April, 1909 







■ — 




- w ■■ 




for multiple-unit operation. When 
the car is on the 1200- volt trolley, cur- 
rent for lights and the air compressor 
and control circuits is furnished at 
600-volts by a dynamotor. 

There are 65 miles of single track 
and at the Pittsburg end of the road 
double track is laid for nj^ miles, 
80-lb. standard rails being used. The 
maximum grade is 8 per cent, al- 
though in the hilly country grades of 
5 per cent, are numerous. 

All the electrical apparatus used in 
the power-house and substations and 
on the cars was furnished by the Gen- 
eral Electric Company. 

Telephone BootH Fans 

To anyone who has occasion to use 
long-distance telephone booths at all, 
the telephone booth fan manufactured 
by the Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. 
Co., of Pittsburg, Pa., and illustrated 
herewith, will be of special interest. 

Though these fans have the appear- 
ance of a toy, they will be found of 
real service. The motor is supported 
by springs from an arm screwed to 
the side of the booth, and may be tilted 
or turned through a wide range. The 
springs prevent any transmission of 
vibration from the motor to the tele- 
phone, and as the fan is noiseless, the 

use of the telephone is in no way af- 

As booths are usually provided with 
several small holes, the air is circu- 
lated even with the door closed, but, 
of course, the best ventilation comes 
when the door is opened. The fan 
is kept running all the time and con- 
sumes about one-quarter of the cur- 


rent required by an ordinary 16-c-p. 
carbon lamp. A regulating switch 
is provided in the base of the bracket 
from which the motor is suspended, 
by which the speed may be adjusted 
to three values, any one of which 
may be used for running indefinitely. 
The movement of the air is dependent 
upon the speed of the fan, as is the 
amount of power required. In some 
booths the lowest speed of the fan is 
sufficient. At the usual rates for 
power, 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, it 
would cost a cent and a half to run 
it all day long. 

Linolite Desh Lamps 

A variety of new styles in desk 
fixtures for use with the linolite tubu- 
lar incandescent lamp have been re- 




April, 1909 

cently placed on the market by the 
H. W. Johns-Manville Co., ioo Wil- 
liam Street, New York City. The 
accompanying illustrations give an ex- 

rivets, flue cleaners, flue welders, fric- 
tion saws, keyseating machinery, 
crank-pin turning machines, steam 
hammers, riveters, brakes, presses and 


cellent idea of some of the varied 
styles. As is obvious, the great ad- 
vantage of the linolite tubular incan- 
descent lamp for desk use lies in the 
wider area of distribution of the light, 
owing to the great length of the fila- 
ment tube. The fixtures are supplied 
in three finishes : burnished brass, oxi- 
dized copper and gun-metal. 

New Catalogues 

Anyone interested in fuel economy 
will find much of interest and value 
in Bulletin 368 of the United States 
Geological Survey, dealing with wash- 
ing and cooking tests of coal, made at 
the fuel-testing plant at Denver, Col. 

A folder sent out by the Western 
Electric Co. treats of an electric exten- 
sion bell designed for calling in noisy 
places. It can be used either as a tele- 
phone extension bell or as an alternat- 
ing-current signal bell on circuits of 
not more than 220 volts and 25 cycles. 

Advance partial lists of the record- 
ing pressure and vacuum gauges are 
given in a bulletin sent out by the Bris- 
tol Company, of Waterbury, Conn. 
The various sizes of charts, with the 
many different kinds of graduations, 
are fully illustrated. 

The Emerson Monthly, issued by 
the Emerson Electric Mfg. Co., of St. 
Louis, Mo., is devoted largely to fans. 
Some space is also given up to a port- 
able suction cleaner, a motor-driven 
air compressor for dentists' and physi- 
cians' use, and also the usual motor 
stock list. 

A pamphlet recently sent out by the 
C. W. Hunt Co., of West New 
Brighton, New York, deals with coal 
dealers' supplies, including mast and 
gaff fittings, automatic railways, 
chutes and screens, steel coal tubs, rol- 
ler-bearing blocks and "Stevedore" 
manila rope. 

A pamphlet deserving exceptional 
notice is that recently sent out by 
Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, of Chicago, 
"the iron and steel department store." 
Boiler furnaces, lugs, hangers, braces, 

special sand tools are some of the 
products handled by this company, to- 
gether with steel and iron in the many 
forms needed by manufacturers. The 
typographical work of the book is ex- 

Electrical instruments are fully il- 
lustrated and described in a bulletin 
recently issued by the Wagner Elec- 
tric & Manufacturing Co., of St. 
Louis, Mo. Standard direct-current 
and alternating-current types, to- 
gether with special types, are de- 
scribed, and also potential and series 
transformers and instruments of the 
portable type. 

The March bulletin of the National 
Electric Light Association contains 
notices of work of the various com- 
mittees, and the continuation of an ab- 
stract of papers read at a meeting of 
the Philadelphia Electric Company, on 
"Load Factor, Diversity Factor and 
Power Factor." The question box, as 
usual, contains questions and answers 
on live topics. 

A pamphlet just issued by the Gen- 
eral Electric Company contains a com- 
prehensive list of motor-starting and 
speed-controlling devices, both auto- 
matic and non-automatic starters. 
Each device is illustrated and briefly 
described, and the pamphlet will be of 
value to all interested in any way with 
motor drive. Another publication is- 
sued by the company is devoted to the 
Curtis steam-turbine generator. This 
bulletin gives many of the details of 
construction, with interior views and 
cross sections of various parts of tur- 
bine and generator. It describes 
large and small turbines of ver- 
tical and horizontal types, and con- 
tains illustrations of numerous rep- 
resentative Curtis turbine installa- 
tions. Curves are given to show the 
relative economy of a 4-cylinder com- 
pound engine and a Curtis-turbine 
unit. As in so many other reports of 
turbine economy tests, however, the 
relative steam consumption of the con- 
densing auxiliaries is not given. It 
would be interesting to know just 
how the two types would compare if 
this were included. 


At the annual meeting of the Chi- 
cago Mica Company, held in Chicago, 
April 14, 1909, M. L. Kohler, of 
Philadelphia, was elected president. 

H. B. Logan, president of Dossert 
& Co., of New York, is visiting the 
Western trade of the company. Mr. 
Logan, who will go to the Coast on 
this trip, says he expects to secure 
some big business before he returns. 


John Chamberlin Fish, well known 
to the electrical industry as president 
of the National Electric Lamp Asso- 
ciation and of the Shelby Electric 
Company, of Shelby, Ohio, passed 
away suddenly on Friday, April 16, 
after an illness of only four days. He 
was born in Sheldon, Vt., on April 14, 
1864. At an early age he moved to 
Ohio and secured his education in the 
public schools of Akron and Shelby, 
eventually graduating from Kenyon 
College at Gambier. 

Mr. Fish first became identified with 
the electrical business when he organ- 
ized, in 1896. The Shelby Electric 
Company, which owes its great success 
to his extraordinary ability and deter- 
mination. At a later date Mr. Fish 
also became president of the National 
Electric Lamp Association, the forma- 
tion of which was greatly due to his 

At the time of his death, aside from 
being interested in the electrical busi- 
ness, Mr. Fish was president of the 
following companies : The Shelby 
Printing Company, The Shelby Water 
Company, The Ohio Seamless Tube 
Company and The Auto Call System 
Company, as well as vice-president of 
The Shelby Telephone Company, and 
a directer of the Citizen's Bank ; all of 
these being located in Shelby. 

Aside from endeavoring to benefit 
his place of residence in business ways, 
Mr. Fish also devoted a great deal of 
his time to the intellectual side, being 
president of the Board of Education. 
He was a member of the Knights of 
Pythias and Elk lodges, and was presi- 
dent of the Colonial Club of Shelby 
and the Shelby Business Men's Asso- 


An Armature Winder for high=tension 
magnetos. Address U. S. Co., Electrical 
Age, New York. 


A modern equipped electric light plant, 
in one of the richest towns in Missouri. 
Seventeen years unexpired franchise. Plant 
free from debt. Business well established. 
Correspondence solicited. Apply, A. D., 
Electrical Age, New York. 


Volume XL. Number 5 

1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy 

New York, May, 1 909 

The Electrical Age Co 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH, Pres. C. A. HOPE. Sec. and TreaE. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connecting all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, $1.00. 

Canada, $1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


Insertion of new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the following issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 



Core vs. Shell Transformers 105 

Exhaust Steam Turbines 105 

The Relation Between Engine-Room and 
School-Room and How to Attain It 106 

Boiler-Room Economy 107 

The Limitations of Party Transformer Dis- 
tribution 108 

Foundations and the Use of Concrete 112 

Core vs. SKell Transformers 

Very lately there has been a great 
deal of controversy through some of 
the technical journals about the 
parenthood of the new type of small 
transformers recently placed on the 
market by the General Electric and 
Westinghouse companies, the General 
Electric referring to its new type of 
transformer as a core type and the 
Westinghouse Company referring to 
its new type as a shell type of trans- 

Both units are identical in their 
fundamental features. Both units are 
composed of several nearly circular 
and concentric coils in which the iron 
after passing through the opening of 
these coils divides into four equal sec- 
tions 90 degrees apart. The Westing- 
house Company has endeavored to 
show by sketches that the new form 
is an evolution from the shell type, 
and the General Electric Company 
has assiduously endeavored to estab- 
lish by similar sketches that the new 
form is a natural development from 
the core type — but really, what do we 
care ! It is only a matter of which 

way you walk around the imaginative 
circle of evolution. Either direction 
brings you to the same result. 

The popular idea as to what consti- 
tutes a core or a shell-type transform- 
er has been that with the shell type 
a large part of the coils was enclosed 
within the iron, and in the core type 
of construction a large part of the 
iron was enclosed within the coil. In 
either type, however, a large part of 
both the iron and coil was directly 
exposed to circulating oil. The 
definition of these two types, however, 
is indefinite, and they have been dis- 
tinguished principally as the two 
makes of the manufacturers. In the 
new type, therefore, which is being 
manufactured by each company, it is 
rather difficult to state whether it is a 
shell or core type of construction. 
But this is not of any consequence, 
for it is only to the partly circular 
and thin type of coil that this new type 
owes its merit, and not to the form of 
magnetic circuit. 

From a manufacturing standpoint, 
the new type is attractive, for the rea- 
son that it more nearly approaches 
the commercially ideal type than any 
type hitherto made. 

As is well known, the principal 
argument advanced and claimed for 
the core type of transformer has been 
the ease with which circular coils 
lend themselves to insulation. 

Sharp corners are largely avoided, 
especially in the outside coils, and 
this " makes a less risk of break- 
ing insulation at sharp corners in 
winding the coils. Besides, this form 
permits the use of mica insulation, 
which is certainly one of the best 
insulation materials that can be used. 
Another distinct advantage in cir- 
cular coils is that the coil being very 
thin, the difference in expansion be- 
tween inside and outside layers is 
very small compared to what it 
would be in a high, narrow coil, 
such as was used in what was origi- 
nally known as the shell type of con- 
struction. As the success of a trans- 
former depends very largely on its 
durability to stand strains in service, 
the advantages of a cylindrical coil are 
evident. The new type has many of 
the good points of the core type on 
account of its cylindrical coils, and 
has the additional advantage that it 
can be built cheaper than the super- 
seded types. 

ExHavist Steam Turbines 

Within the last year the attention 
of the power-plant fraternity has been 
directed to the advantages of the low- 
pressure steam turbines as an adjunct 
of reciprocating engine plants. As 
was pointed out by Mr. J. R. Bibbins 
in a paper read before the Canadian 
Society of Civil Engineers a few 
months ago, the evolution of the idea 
came through the work of Hon. C. A. 
Parsons, to whom the world is in- 
debted for so much of the expansion 
of the steam turbine in the last few 
years. Although some of the great- 
est advantages of turbine drive are 
found in connection with the use of 
the high-speed generator, in marine 
practice also the turbine has found 
a field of usefulness that has led to 
many striking results. 

Experiments along a wide range of 
conditions have shown pretty con- 
clusively that the reciprocating engine 
and the turbine each have their own 
points of superiority, both afloat and 
ashore. The analysis of these points 
has shown that with the increase in the 
pressure of the operating fluid the 
cylinder and piston combination has 
shown up well, although even then it 
has had its difficulties as to lubrica- 
tion and similar points. At the other 
end of the working range — as every- 
one has noticed — the reciprocating 
scheme has had its hard going. The 
difference in the sizes of the working 
parts of the high- and low-pressure 
ends of a compound engine give an 
indication of the way the land lies. 

As the line of atmospheric pressure 
is crossed the limitations of the low- 
pressure cylinder are yet more pro- 
nounced. The ratio of the variations 
in pressure due to cylinder condensa- 
tion to the total range of working 
pressure becomes so large that the 
benefits of a high vacuum fall to the 
wrong side of what theory would lead 
us to expect. By the same considera- 
tions where the admission pressure of 
the turbine is at or near the atmos- 
phere, the proportional benefit from 
an additional inch or two of vacuum 
is very great, amounting in certain 
cases to as much as 25 per cent, of 
the total steam used for the change 
from 26 to 28 in. While this does 
not mean that the operation of the 
reciprocating engine is not mate- 
rially improved by a high vacuum, it 
is, nevertheless, true that the addi- 




May, 1909 

tion of an extra inch of vacuum to 
figures such as are ordinarily carried 
in a condensing power plant, in the 
case of the low-pressure turbine, 
brings several times the improvement 
in steam consumption that it does in 
the case of the low-pressure condens- 
ing engine. 

So, speaking broadly, it may be said 
that the region of highest efficiency 
of the steam-engine lies in the higher 
range of steam pressure, while that 
of the steam turbine, at least of the 
type used mostly in this country, it 
lies in the lower. So much is this 
true that so far the efforts to devise 
a turbine that will work satisfactorily 
in the ranges of heat and pressure 
that exist in a gas-engine has been 

The result of the establishing of the 
region of maximum advantage has led 
to the decision to unite the two types, 
and now we understand that a pair 
of transatlantic liners are to be 
equipped with a combined engine and 
low-pressure turbine power plant. 
The German steel companies have 
likewise introduced this feature in sev- 
eral of their recent plants, and the 
first installation in this country has 
been made in the South Chicago plant 
of the Wisconsin Steel Company, 
where the exhaust of an engine whose 
indicated horse-power is about iooo 
has been made to drive two 250-kw., 
1500 r.p.m. direct-current turbines. 

At first sight it appears almost in- 
credible that so much power can be 
taken from exhaust steam. Looking 
at the matter from the arithmetical 
side, the steam tables show that the 
total heat of one pound of satu- 
rated steam under a pressure of 150 
gauge or 164.7 absolute is 1 193.6 
B.t.u. and its temperature will be 
365.9 F. Of this total heat 855.6 
B.t.u. is the latent and 338 B.t.u. the 
sensible heat of the fluid. When the 
pressure has fallen to one atmosphere, 
or 14.7 lb., the total heat is 1147 B.t.u. 
and the temperature is 212 F., the 
latent heat is 967 and the sensible 180. 

When the pressure has further 
dropped to one pound absolute, which 
corresponds to about 28 in. of vacuum, 
the total heat is found to be 1113.1 
B.t.u. and the temperature is 102 . 
The difference in the amount of en- 
ergy of the fluid under the three dif- 
ferent conditions may be tabulated as 
follows : 

From the calculation it may be seen 
that the differences in the total quan- 
tity of energy contained in a given 
quantity of saturated steam at the giv- 
en pressures are not so very different. 
This does not represent the actual 
value of the available energy, because 
it takes no account of the condensation 
that really takes place and unlocks 
many additional heat units. 

Let us view the pressure-volume 
curve of a gas expanding, without loss 
or gain of heat, from 150 lb. down to 
a fairly good degree of vacuum. As 
above noted, such a curve will not 
truly represent the condition of ex- 
pansion in a steam-engine, but the 
areas will be approximately those of 
the indicator card. Considering the 
part of the area enclosed by the curve 
above the line of atmospheric pressure 
as representing work done by the fluid 
in expanding to that point, and the 
area below the atmospheric line as 
proportional to the work done in ex- 
panding from atmospheric pressure 
down to the low-vacuum point, it will 
be found that the two areas are about 
equal ; or, in other words, just as much 
energy may be taken from the steam 
below the atmospheric point as may be 
gotten above it. 

For this reason we find the low- 
pressure turbine being used to supple- 
ment existing non-condensing steam- 
engine plants. There are a large num- 
ber of plants in steel mills operating 
non-condensing; also very many 
plants operating non-condensing be- 
cause they are located away from a 
water-front and it was not advisable 
to lay long conduits to them for con- 
densing purposes, cooling-towers not 
having been devised at that time. 

The cheapness and efficiency of the 
steam turbine in utilizing the low- 
temperature range of steam has 
opened up a large field of application 
in plants of this kind. In the case of 
steel plants where the flow of steam 
is intermittent the system is aug- 
mented by the installation of steam 
accumulators. The accumulator is a 
device for storing the heat of steam, 
either in water or, as in some accumu- 
lators, in iron or other metal, taking 
up the surplus heat when the engine is 
operating and giving it out when the 
engine is not operating. On account 
of the higher efficiency of the low 
ranges of steam temperature in tur- 

bines, and perhaps also because of the 
slightly higher efficiency of piston en- 
gines at high pressures, several en- 
gineers have conceived the idea of 
combining the non-condensing engine 
with the exhaust steam turbine for 
initial installation. While this might 
work out satisfactorily on a steamship, 
it must be remembered that the prob- 
lem is different on land from what it 
is on water. The load on the steam- 
ship is constant, and therefore we find 
triple and quadruplex expansion en- 
gines common enough on water. Up 
to the present time they have not been 
used on land. The combination scheme, 
however, has considerable merit from 
the view-point of economy, and it is 
not until it is tried out that the rela- 
tive efficiency can be determined. 



cu. ft. 


Heat, B. T. U. 






B. t. u. 

Per cent. 


2.75 + 























The Relation bet-ween Engine- 
Room and School-Room and 
How to Attain It 

The rapidly changing position of 
the central station in its relation to 
the isolated plant, coupled with the 
ability of the central station to supply 
power very cheaply, has made the op- 
erating engineer of the private plant 
realize within the last few years the 
need of getting down to first prin- 
ciples by studying power conditions 
carefully ; not alone, however, with the 
idea of reaching a low cost per unit 
of output based on some test intended 
as a comparison with central-station 
cost. The only aims and methods sat- 
isfactory to the isolated engineer are 
those which insure a continued low 
maintenance and depreciation during 
the useful life of the plant. To at- 
tain these ends it is better for the en- 
gineer to get a good substantial plant 
giving steady and certain results at a 
fair ultimate cost to the owner rather 
than to seek much specializing with 
the idea of having a chance to make 
wonderful records. 

So much is heard from plant own- 
ers and many others that to instal a 
plant in these advanced and record- 
breaking times it is necessary to have 
the newest and most highly developed 
special machinery in the power plant 
in order to compete with a company 
organized and operated as a power- 
selling business. On the face of it 
such a statement sounds good and 
brings many power users to depend 
on the central station. This statement 
is correct and absolutely necessary if 
the client intends to go into the power- 
selling business too, but for the ma- 
jority of power users to be swayed by 
arguments of that kind is generally 
very unwise. It is just at such a stage 
where the well-posted engineer must 
note different operating conditions 

May, 1909 



that he may clearly judge and just as 
clearly state his opinions that his em- 
ployer may be saved from making an 
unwise move. Again the operating 
engineer must be just and honest 
when discussing such a problem with 
the plant owner, because there are 
conditions prevailing in many places 
in which it is a distinct advantage to 
the owner to use central-station pow- 
er. In such cases it is well for a man 
to speak out plain truths. 

The power-selling central station 
is here to stay, because in hundreds of 
places it is the only method by which 
the power user can secure a steady 
and always available supply of power 
at a reasonable cost. The operating 
engineers are very much indebted to 
the central station and ought to study- 
its methods rather than condemn 
them. The many and various condi- 
tions under which power is needed 
leave room for both central stations 
and isolated plants. 

The central station is in the business 
of selling power at the greatest profit, 
and is compelled through the nature 
of its business to develop a highly 
specialized power-plant practice. Some 
of them to-day are undisputed leaders 
in operating plant. The operating en- 
gineer of the isolated plant to succeed 
must follow in their footsteps and 
study the individual plant conditions 
so thoroughly that the isolated plant 
can to the full take advantage of all 
its naturally favorable conditions. 

Let the operating engineer get into 
the habit of regarding his boiler plant 
as the factory of raw products, charg- 
ing his administration with the cost 
of raw material used, the plant owner 
to take the finished product whether it 
is in the form of electric power, steam 
or refrigerating, exactly as he would 
from a central station. Let the iso- 
lated power plant remember that the 
sole business of the plant and organi- 
zation is : , 

First. — To produce steam cheaply 
as possible; 

Second. — To reduce the steam con- 
sumption to the lowest horse power 
possible and still give full service to 
the house; and we will hear more of 
the real worth of the isolated 

To secure justice to the operating 
engineer's vocation, the men and plant 
owners ought to organize for the pur- 
pose of making it possible to give the 
operating engineer's vocation the op- 
portunities it deserves. The time 
seems especially opportune for an ex- 
tended campaign in behalf of appren- 
ticeship that a true spirit of vocational 
pride may be fostered in the young 
men ; and secondly for a thorough and 
practical education. There must and 
ought to be a closer combination be- 

tween the schoolroom and engine- 
room until the apprentice is supplied 
with a thorough and suitable indus- 
trial education, gained during the time 
he is being trained in the actual prac- 
tice of his life work. The two are 
of equal importance. It is only by a 
close interdependence and relation be- 
tween the school, and the vocational 
organization which facilitates the ac- 
quirement of practical experience, that 
it is possible to gain concrete and 
usable knowledge of the principles 
which always underlie the actual work 
done by the apprentice. Such a rela- 
tionship between work and study, 
where the school will not waste time 
to teach the young man unless he has 
proof from his vocational organiza- 
tion that he is adapted to the work and 
realizes the need of skill and responsi- 
bility, is necessary. And then finally 
the vocational organization will not 
give out apprentice certificates to any- 
one as an engine-room mechanic, 
whether as a machinery operator, pro- 
ficient fireman or a finished engineer, 
unless the school can furnish proof 
that the applicant has passed the pre- 
scribed course of study. Make this 
work-and-study combination possible 
in our vocation along prescribed lines 
and we shall have made a beginning 
of conditions where complete co-oper- 
ation is possible between the employ- 
er and employee, and there will be no 
danger of the operating engineer's vo- 
cation dying away. In fact, such a 
combination between a vocation or- 
ganization in any trade and a suitable 
training-school carried on simultane- 
ously with the apprenticeship must be 
established before there will be real 
reason to expect efficiency in the ad- 
ministration of plants. 

The-idea of many people that short 
cuts are possible and that quick routes 
can be found to the front rank for 
the young mechanic or the future op- 
erating engineer have done untold 
harm to young men. They find their 
mistake often when it is too late to 
correct it. It is wrong for either shop 
or college to teach and try to fit a 
young man for a calling for which he 
is utterly unfit and in which he is 
bound to make a failure for reasons 
which generally are plain enough to 
anyone except himself. It is a waste 
of time to both. It is for this reason 
that the proposed National Society of 
Stationary Engineers asks for two 
years' actual service before allowing 
a young man to enter as a regular ap- 
prentice either at shop or school. Be- 
fore the end of two years it will be 
known if the young man is suitable 
and can expect to succeed in the vo- 
cation if allowed to go further; if not, 
he can seek more congenial work be- 
fore it is too late for him to find the 

kind of work for which he is best 

The proposed N. S. O. E. should 
have as its aim not only to make its 
apprenticeship members operating en- 
gineers, but to make all of them well- 
trained and conscientious machinery 
operators and proficient firemen that 
the various plants may be supplied 
with a responsible and reliable set of 
plant operators, who, as such, can and 
will produce results and are known as 
engine-room mechanics. It is from 
this class that the successful operating 
engineers will come. 

Boiler-Room Economy 

The increasing attention given mat- 
ters affecting fuel economy is apparent 
from the correspondence and articles 
on this subject appearing in the tech- 
nical press. That the matter is of ex- 
treme importance is also evidenced by 
tests already made and now under 
way, under the management of the 
United States Geological Survey. 

Many central station managers and 
engineers have spent considerable time 
in studying the problem, but it is also 
true that plants without number are 
burning coal inefficiently, resulting in 
a consequent higher operating cost per 
unit output. Especially is this true in 
the smaller plants in the South, where 
negro labor only is available. While 
some of the more intelligent of this 
race appear to understand fairly well 
the connection between proper draft 
regulation and economical burning of 
coal, the greater number run at all 
loads with dampers wide open and a 
heavy fire, resulting in a much larger 
consumption of coal than neces- 

Where the capacity of the plant will 
not justify the installation of stokers, 
the best method of procedure is for 
the engineer to experiment with the 
thickness of fire and damper opening 
at the various loads until the most eco- 
nomical arrangement can be deter- 
mined. Some means can then be had 
to mark the various positions of the 
damper, so that the fireman can him- 
self regulate the draft to suit the load. 
This method of procedure in a certain 
case resulted in reducing the consump- 
tion during 24 hours from 20 tons to 
less than 17 tons. 

It is true also that some coals are 
sold more on their reputation than on 
their actual burning qualities, hence 
the necessity, now fortunately recog- 
nized by many central station men, of 
buying coal on a B. T. U. basis, a 
bonus being paid for a calorific value 
over a certain amount, and a rebate 
being made by the coal company 
should the B. T. U.'s per pound of 
coal fall below the arbitrary standard 
set for that particular case. 

Limitations of Party Transformer 


Assistant Foreman Testing Laboratory, Allegheny County Light Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. 

While much has been said in cen- 
tral-station circles about the economy 
effected by party transformer distri- 
bution, very little attention has been 
given to the minor engineering prin- 
ciples and details, which, when care- 
fully considered, will promote the 
highest operating efficiency in the ap- 
paratus employed. 

Briefly, the features which particu- 
larly recommend this practice are 
widely known as the large saving in 
first cost, and especially the increase 
in efficiency, which is brought about 

by the substitution of large transform- 
ers having small losses for a multi- 
plicity of smaller ones having a com- 
paratively higher loss. A large de- 
crease in the diversity factor, which 
is a result effected when a number 
of installations, each having a differ- 
ent characteristic, are brought to- 
gether in one group, adds to both re- 
sults. Under the most favorable con- 
dition, which is the substitution of a 
party transformer for individual in- 
stallations in a thickly populated dis- 
trict, the saving in the investment 


:tcd l. 
















PA C » TV 



Aqe v.o 










D 1 

1 1 


FIG. 1 


reaches a value of 6o per cent., and the 
all-day efficiency is increased 320 per 
cent. If this substitution is made by 
replacing transformers of an obsolete 
type, using those of modern design, 
this saving will reach a value con- 
siderably higher. 

The mechanical construction, 
whether the installation is overhead 
or underground, is governed largely 
by the electrical design, and may be 
assumed to follow certain definite 
lines in either case. For this reason 
the discussion will be confined to the 
electrical problems which would be 
considered in the order of the im- 
portance of each as follows: 

(1) Ratio between transformer ca- 
pacity and connected load ; 

(2) Capacity and range of sec- 
ondary mains ; 

(3) Balancing and distribution of 
the load on the secondary mains. 

Investigation shows that the aver- 
age maximum running load on a 
large group of residence installations 
equals 30 per cent, of the connected 
load. This proportion varies con- 
siderably with the selling price of cur- 
rent, the size of the installation, the 
r lative size of each installation to the 
group of which it is a member and 
the environment and personality of the 
consumer who controls the installa- 
tion. The ratio is higher for small 
dwellings and apartment houses than 
for large homes, due to the fact that 
the latter installation is restricted to 
limited spaces and frequent and more 
constant use. 

For "commercial loads," consisting 
of small stores, offices and miscellane- 
ous business houses, this ratio has a 
value of about 40 per cent, for five 
clays of the week, rising as high as 
75 per cent, on Saturday nights. In 
every case this ratio varies in inverse 
proportion to the number of members 
in a group. 

Fig. 1 gives the characteristic per- 
formance of a party transformer hav- 
ing 70 residence installations con- 
nected. It represents the normal load 
and load period for every day in the 
year and the maximum and minimum 
load at any time will not vary more 
than 5 per cent, from the values 

When the investigation is carried 
down to the performance of each in- 
dividual installation it is found that 
there are periods when this proportion 

May, 1909 



does not hold good. There are times 
when the consumer will use from 50 
to 75 per cent, of the total lamps, but 
these periods are infrequent, and in 
a large group a very small percentage 
of these periods are coincident. 

Fig. 2 shows the performance of 
an installation having a load of small 
stores, offices, cafes, signs and a few 
residences. The broken line repre- 
sents the load for every day except 
Saturday night, which is shown by 
the solid line. This performance is 
typical of this class of service, and 

the layout of this particular installa- 
tion is considered ideal. For a period 
of two hours each week the trans- 
former is subjected to an overload of 
25 per cent., but this is not sufficient 
to give an objectionable voltage regu- 
lation or cause deterioration in the 

In Fig. 3 the load curve shown in 
Fig. 1 is extended to cover 24 hours, 
and over it in a broken line is plotted 
the transformer capacity showing a 
mean resultant of the manufacturers' 
guaranteed overload performance. 

The dotted line A shows the dropping 
off in load during the summer months, 
caused by a longer daylight period. 
This change follows the variation of 
atmospheric temperature from season 
to season very closely, and when com- 
bined with the overload performance,, 
affords an opportunity for increasing 
the all-day efficiency, which is seldom 
taken advantage of in central-station 
practice, due to certain limitations 
set by increased voltage regulation 
and unbalancing of load on three-wire 

In Fig. 4 the results of the investi- 
gation of the several types of serv- 
ice are plotted in a chart for determin- 
ing the proper ratio of the trans- 
former capacity to the connected load. 
The transformer capacity in percent- 
age of connected load is plotted 
against the number of installations 
connected. Curve A is for large busi- 
ness establishments and a strictly 
commercial load. B is for miscellane- 
ous loads, consisting of small busi- 
ness houses and residences grouped,, 
a condition which generally exists at 
certain points in suburban districts. 
The double curve C applies to resi- 
dence loads. The top line is for small 
installations, moderate-sized dwellings 
and apartment houses, while the lower 
line is for large houses having a large 
number of lamps. For this character 
of service it can safely be assumed 
that if the ratio falls within the shaded 
area between the lines the transformer 
will operate satisfactorily. 

The above data should also be ap- 
plied in designing the mains for dis- 
tribution. The first question arising 
is along what lines shall they be de- 
veloped ? This problem is very simple 
if it is only a matter of substitution. 
The installation can be designed for 
an easily-determined characteristic 
shown by the installations being re- 
placed. On the other hand, if the in- 
stallation is to be made in a sparsely- 
populated district, or when a new com- 
pany begins operation, it is preferable 
to install the lines covering a compara- 
tively large area, and of such capacity 
as required by a fully-developed dis- 
trict. As the load is gradually in- 
creased by the building up of the lo- 
cality or as the result of active busi- 
ness-getting methods, these mains 
should be cut in sections and addi- 
tional transformers should be in- 
stalled. It is also important that some 
definite specification, such as making 
the losses in the mains equal to that 
of the transformer for a predeter- 
mined radius from the center of dis- 
tribution, be followed. Some such 
rule should be strictly adhered to, 
since it is necessary that the regula- 
tion of each unit or group of installa- 
tions of a system have a similar char- 



May, 1909 

1 1*1 







> Goaf 





















Ff CAr 






















3 1 


> 1 



» > 

a i2 *. 

FIG. 3 

The question arises here of operat- 
ing transformers in parallel when 
several hundred feet apart together 
with the mains as a network. This 
practice promotes voltage regulation 
and allows a still lower reduction of 
the ratio between the transformer and 

its connected load, but unless the 
transformers are of the same size and 
make, unless reliable cut-outs are used 
at all interconnecting points, and the 
load is evenly distributed over the 
whole area covered by the net-work, 
interruption of service will be in- 







£ 5 
° o 


°/o R 

IT/O Of" 

r flA(V5. 

:ap. to 































FIG. 4 

creased. The cut-outs serve in the 
capacity of isolating any section devel- 
oping a fault, and with the attention 
necessary to guarantee successful op- 
eration, it is a question whether the 
benefits derived warrant the extra ex- 

The most difficult problem arising 
in connection with the distribution 
system is the balancing of the load on 
the three or four wires, depending 
upon whether the three-wire single- 
phase or four-wire three-phase prin- 
ciple of distribution is used. To work 
the copper at the highest efficiency it 
is necessary that the current in the 
neutral wire be at a minimum. Bal- 
ancing of the load does not simply 
mean the placing of a given number 
of installations having the same 
amount of load against each other, 
but the characteristic performance of 
each installation must be considered 
individually. Here, again, the ratio of 
the running load to the connected load 
comes into account. Each installation 
resolves into a special problem requir- 
ing a careful study of the effects of 
various conditions in supply and de- 
mand. An apartment house having 
ioo lamps cannot be balanced against 
a residence having the same number, 
neither can the load of a saloon, drug 
store or department store be placed 
against an office building. Commer- 
cial loads show an individual charac- 
teristic to a more marked degree than 
residence loads. Fig. 5 shows the cur- 
rent in each outside conductor of the 
three-wire party-transformer installa- 
tion represented in Fig. 2. The lines 
A x and B x indicate the maximum load 
of Saturday night, while A, and B 2 
represent the normal load. The 
shaded area represents the unbalanc- 
ing of the load in each case. This 
current reaches a high value, result- 
ing in an objectionable overload on 
one-half of the transformer and in- 
creasing the losses in the mains to 
such an extent that poor voltage reg- 
ulation is caused at distant points. 
This condition exists, although the 
connected load is almost exactly bal- 
anced, and is caused by all the load 
on one side being saloons and large 
stores, while the other side has a load 
of residences and small shops. 

The connection of motors and all 
installations having a heavy intermit- 
tent load should be avoided. 
Churches, moving-picture theaters and 
flashing signs are representative of 
this class of service ; the load is gen- 
erally large as compared with that of 
other installations in the immediate 
vicinity, and the performance is such 
that an unbalancing effect and an ob- 
jectionable voltage regulation cannot 
be avoided. 

The most practical solution to the 
problem of balancing the load is di- 

May, 1909 




vision and subdivision of each individ- 
ual installation, and the remedy is 
three-wire distribution down to the 
consumer's panel-board or the several 
panel-boards of a large installation. 
This practice is particularly desirable 
in business districts, where the di- 
versity factor has the greatest range. 

One central-station 



said that, "You must know a consum- 
er's personal -history from his cradle 
up to proportion a system so that it 
will give him service at the highest 
efficiency." The problem is not so 
hopeless as this. A reasonable amount 
of attention to details and simple rec- 
ords will often give remarkable re- 


Water Treatment by Electricity 

T the recent annual meeting of iron plates in the water to be treated, 
•the American Railway Engi- and passing electrical currents through 

neering and Maintenance of 
Way Association, J. L. Campbell, en- 
gineer of maintenance of way of the 
El Paso & Southwestern system, pre- 
sented a paper dealing with some ex- 

the same. It has been demonstrated 
that, with clean plates satisfactory re- 
sults are secured, except in the matter 
of cost, which is very high. The ex- 
periments have not extended far 

periments in reducing the hardness of enough to be able to submit definite 
water by electricity. The treatment figures of cost. It appears that on 
consisted in submerging aluminum or account of the quality of the water, 

the cost of the electrical treatment 
would be justified, provided the effi- 
ciency of the treatment could be main- 
tained. It is found, however, that the 
plates incrust quite rapidly, and the 
efficiency of the treatment quickly falls 
off after the plant has been in opera- 
tion for a few days, beginning with 
clean plates. 

As an index of the results obtained 
so far, the hardness of the water at 
Alamogordo is 40 grains per gallon. 
During the first three or four days of 
the treatment, this hardness was re- 
duced to seven grains per gallon. As 
the operation was continued, and the 
plates incrusted, the efficiency fell off 
until at the end of a week or ten days 
the hardness of the water had risen 
to 20 grains per gallon, at the end 
of the same periods of treatment 
which, in the beginning, reduced the 
hardness to seven grains. Iron plates 
give practically the same results. 

At Pastura the water has a hard- 
ness of 180 grains per gallon, and at 
the present writing this has been read- 
ily reduced by iron plates to a hard- 
ness of 90, at which point the reduc- 
tion has stopped. It appears, however, 
that by increasing the time and inten- 
sity of the treatment, it will be possi- 
ble to still further reduce this, but 
these experiments are not yet com- 

Outside the question of cost, the 
problem appears to be one of cleaning 
the incrustation from the plates at 
frequent intervals after a given plant 
has been placed in operation. In an 
experimental plant having a capacity 
of 125,000 gallons of water treated in 
24 hours, being erected at Alamagor- 
do, there will be 27,000 square feet 
of plate, or 54,000 square feet of plate 
surface. These plates are three feet 
square, and the experiments to date 
indicate that they will have to be 
cleaned at the rate of one plate per 
minute during the operation of the 
plant in order to keep the latter up to 
its full efficiency. Evidently this would 
have to be done by machinery, and 
apparently this is a point that may 
render the process impracticable. 

It has been demonstrated that, with 
clean plates, the hardness of the water 
can be reduced very much below that 
possible by the use of lime and soda 
ash, on account of the trouble of foam- 
ing when the latter treatment is car- 
ried to the excess required for these 
very bad waters. The electrical 
treatment does not increase the prim- 
ing tendency of the water ; in fact, 
it has a slightly beneficial effect. 

In the reduction of the water at 
Alamogordo, from 40 grains to 7 
grains per gallon of incrusting solids, 
the power required was 7 electric 
horse-power-hours per 1000 gallons 
of water treated, the potential of the 



May, 1909 

electric current being 1 from ioo to 125 

In the experiment at Pastura, the 
power required was just double the 

The experimental plant at Alamo- 
gordo consists of three vats or tanks, 
3 feet deep, 5 feet wide, and 80 feet 
long, each divided into 25 compart- 
ments, in which the 3 by 3 foot plates 
were set on edge, and spaced one inch 
center to center, all the sections in 
each vat and the several vats being- 
connected by proper electrical wiring. 
The vats are then filled with water and 
the electrical current turned on. 

At one end of the vats there is a 
storage or supply tank, and at the other 
a precipitating tank from which the 
water is pumped through a filter to the 
railroad service tank. The perfectly 
treated water is a clear, limpid and 
very pleasant drinking water. 

Apart from the apparent physical 
impracticability of the constant, re- 
moval, cleaning and replacement of 
the iron or aluminum plates necessi- 
tated by the requirements of constant 
cleaning, this process would appear 
to be the most efficient of any system 
of treatment under the exceptional 
conditions obtaining on the eastern 
division of the Southwestern. 

For the treatment of the water at 
Alamogordo above specified, it ap- 
pears that the loss of weight of the 
aluminum plates is at the rate of about 
Y\ pound to 1000 gallons of water 
treated. The experiments with the 
iron plates have not proceeded far 
enough to determine the loss from 
them. The incrustation of the plates 
is similar in a general way to the in- 
crusting of locomotive boiler tubes, ex- 
cept that the scale is not nearly so 
hard, but still requires the application 
of a scraper to remove it. 

The sludge precipitated from the 
treatment is of very fine flocculent 
matter of milky color. 

Foundations and the Use of Concrete 


THE general statement may safely 
be made that in every power 
plant or manufactory laid down 
in recent years the wall footings and 
machine foundations have been of con- 
crete. This material has now become 
an indispensable element in the con- 
struction of the modern plant, and it 
will be the writer's aim to bring out 
some of its more important character- 
istics, taking up first the discussion of 
foundations in general. 

In designing the foundations for 
any structure, whether a building or an 
engine, the first consideration is the 
nature of the soil on which the foun- 
dation is to be built up. Naturally a 
hard clay will bear more per square 
foot than a soft clay, and rock more 
than hard clay. In cases where it is 
not important to have the exact bear- 
ing capacity of the soil, a close enough 
approximation may be obtained by 
judging the hardness of the soil dur- 
ing the excavation and consulting the 
tables given in hand-books, such as 
Kidde's. But experience and good 
judgment are necessary to use the in- 
formation in these tables to good ad- 

Where it is necessary to obtain an 
exact estimate of the bearing power of 
a soil, however, an actual test must be 
made, either by applying pressure to 
a definite area or, if piles are to be 
used, by driving a test pile. In the 
method of applying pressure, a piece 
of timber 12 by 12 in. is held by 
guys vertically, a platform being pro- 
vided to hold the weights making up 
the load. The bottom of the timber 
is set in a hole about three feet deep, 
18 in. square at the top and 14 at the 
bottom. Two stakes are driven, one 

on each side of the timber, several feet 
away, and a piece of fish-line or fine 
wire is stretched between them, almost 
touching one side of the timber. At 
this point on the timber a scale may be 
fastened so that any sinkage of the 
timber as the load is added may be 
noted. Another method of obtaining 
the sinkage is by means of an engi- 
neer's level. When the timber sinks 
the load applied may be considered 
the ultimate bearingf capacity of the 
soil, and from one-fifth to one-half of 
this is usually taken as the safe work- 
ing load. 

In the method of testing with piles, 
the pile is driven in the usual way, and 
on the last blow the fall of the hammer 
and the penetration of the pile are 
taken. The safe load is obtained by 
using these values in the following 
formula : 

L = 

S + i 
L = safe load. 

W = weight of hammer in tons, 
h = fall of hammer in feet. 
S = penetration of pile in inches. 
In testing a soil of hard clay the 
test may give the following results : 
W = 1800 lb. = 0.9 ton. 
h = 26 ft. 
S = 2 in. 

2 X 0.9 X 26 

L then becomes = 

S + i 
15.6 tons. 

Another formula for obtaining the 
safe bearing load of a pile is that given 
by Sutcliffe, as follows: 

Safe load = 


W = weight of hammer = 0.9 ton. 

H = fall of hammer = 312 in. 

D = penetration of pile = 2 in. 

The safe load then will be 17.5 tons, 
which agrees closely with the result 
obtained by the first formula. 

By closely watching the piles when 
driven an experienced man can tell 
very closely how much they will bear. 
A very small penetration, say one-half 
inch or one inch, with a long fall of the 
hammer, may generally be considered 
as good evidence that a pile is splinter- 
ing at the point instead of penetrating 
farther. This, of course, is to be 
avoided, and it may be put down as a 
fairly good indication that when a pile 
drives from two to three inches on a 
25- to 30-ft. fall it has reached the 
limit before splintering. 

The length of the pile will, of 
course, depend on how far below the 
surface ground of sufficient hardness 
to hold the pile is obtained. In some 
of the soft alluvial deposits in the 
South it has been necessary to splice 
two 30-ft. piles before a two-inch pen- 
etration on the last blow could be ob- 
tained. The minimum spacing of the 
piles should be about 2.5 or 3 ft., or 
something more than enough to pre- 
vent the breaking up of the ground. 

When soft ground is encountered... 
necessitating the use of piles, an excel- 
lent foundation is obtained by placing 
a layer of concrete over the piles. 
Enough of each pile is left, above 
ground so that it may be sawed off one 
foot above ground. A layer of concrete 
18 in. thick is then placed over and 
around the piles, the thickness above 
the top, of course, being six inches. 
When the foundation requires it, re- 
enforcement may be placed on this 

May, 1909 



layer, the bars being on 12-in. centers, 
and another layer of concrete is placed 
over them. Where the bars lap, if 
they are not long enough to extend the 
full length of the foundation, fully 
two inches should be left between the 
parts overlapping to allow the concrete 
to grip the bars all around. If the bars 
cross at right angles they may be in 
close contact. 

In making these tests a "pat" three 
inches in diameter, one-half inch thick 
in the center and tapering to a thin 
edge is made of neat cement. When 
the cement has set sufficiently to bear 
the weight of the quarter-pound needle 
initial set has begun, and when able 
to bear the one-pound needle hard set 
has begun. It must also be borne in 
mind that the results will be influenced 


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FIG. 1 

Fig. i shows a section of a founda- 
tion built of piles and re-enforced con- 
crete and Fig. 2 shows how the bars 
should be spaced. 


It is important to establish some 
standard up to which the cement to be 
used must measure before it can be ac- 
cepted for use in the work proposed. 
The characteristics of cement usually 
appearing in specifications are specific 
gravity, fineness, time of setting, ten- 
sile strength, constancy of volume and 
test by sulphuric acid. The quality 
of cement for ordinary work, how- 
ever, can be determined by making 
only three of these tests, namely, time 
of setting, constancy of volume and 
tensile strength, so that while in the 
following all the characteristics are 
dealt with, the three just named are 
treated of more fully. 

The specific gravity of the cement, 
thoroughly dried at ioo° C, shall not 
be less than 3.1. 

Fineness. — The cement shall leave 
by weight a residue of not more than 
8 per cent, on the No. 100 and not 
more than 25 per cent, on the No. 200 

Time of Setting. — The cement shall 
develop initial set in not less than 30 
min., but must develop hard set in not 
less than one hour nor more than 10 
hours. An approximate method of de- 
termining the time of setting is to 
press gently on the cement with the 
finger-nail, ability to bear a slight 
pressure indicating initial set and re- 
sistance to greater pressure indicating 
final or hard set. For accurate results, 
however, test wires or "Gilmore 
needles" are used. One of these con- 
sists of a steel needle one-twelfth inch 
in diameter, loaded with a quarter- 
pound weight, the second needle being 
one-twenty-fourth inch in diameter 
and loaded with a one-pound weight. 
The quarter-pound needle is used for 
the initial set test and the one-pound 
needle for the hard-set test. 

by such details as the quantity, temper- 
ature and composition of the water 
used in mixing, the amount of mixing, 
the temperature of the cement and the 
temperature and character of the ma- 
terial on which the pat is placed after 
molding. It is therefore important in 
making comparative tests of cement to 
have the various conditions of the sep- 
arate tests as near alike as possible. 
Constancy of Volume. — Pats of neat 

A third pat is exposed in any con- 
venient way in an atmosphere of steam 
above boiling water in a loosely closed 
vessel for five hours. These pats, to 
satisfactorily pass the requirements, 
must remain firm and hard and show 
no sign of distortion, checking, crack- 
ing or disintegrating. 

The pat in water should be examined 
daily to see if it becomes distorted or 
if cracks appear at the edge. Some- 
times when the tendency to crack is 
caused by the presence of too much 
unslaked lime this will disappear with 
time. If the pat exposed in air shows 
any yellowish blotches a poor quality 
of cement is indicated. Portland ce- 
ments (those manufactured from lime- 
stone and clay with other materials 
varying with the brand) have a bluish- 
gray color. Natural cements (made 
from limestone more or less impure 
in which the necessary ingredients for 
cement are found in nature) are light 
or dark, according to the character of 
the work of which they are made. 

In the boiling test the pat is placed 
in water at ordinary temperature and 
the water heated gradually to the boil- 
ing point. Should a tendency to crack 
be caused by too much unslaked lime, 

fig. 2 

cement should be kept in moist air 
(covered with a wet cloth) for a pe- 
riod of 24 hr. A pat is then kept in 
air at normal temperature and ob- 
served at intervals for at least 28 days. 
Another pat is kept in water main- 
tained as near 70° F. as practicable 
and observed at intervals for 28 days. 

as before mentioned, the cement 
should be spread out in a perfectly dry 
place for a few days and the tests re- 

Tensile Strength. — The minimum 
requirements for tensile strength for 
briquettes one inch square in section 
shall be within the following limits 



May, 1909 

and shall show no retrogression in 
strength within the periods specified: 


Age, 24 hr. in moist air; strength, 
150-200 lb. 

Age, 7 days (1 day in moist air, 
6 days in water) ; strength. 450-550 lb. 

Age, 28 days ( 1 day in moist air, 27 
days in water) ; strength, 550-650 lb. 


Age, 7 days (1 day in moist air, 6 
days in water; strength, 150-200 lb. 

Age, 28 days ( I day in moist air, 27 
days in water) ; strength 200-300 lb. 

Books on concrete agree that the re- 
sults of briquette tests are largely a 
matter of the personal equation, different 
results being obtained with the same 
cement by different persons. Methods 
of mixing and pressing into the molds 
are largely responsible for these dif- 
ferences. Even in the methods of the 
same operator, however, there is likely 
at first to be such variation as to cause 
appreciable differences in the results 
obtained. As one grows in experience, 

pig. 3 

however, the variations grow less ; for 
example, neat briquettes tested by the 
writer in the early days of his experi- 
ence showed results varying from 550 
to 350 lb., while some resent tests of 
sand and cement briquettes, three to 
one, showed a variation of about five 
pounds in seven briquettes. 

The amount of water added to the 
cement will affect the results, so it is 
important to keep the amount con- 
stant. Recent tests by the writer to de- 
termine the effect of varying percent- 
ages of water in the mixture gave the 
following results : 

No. of Cement. Water. % water. Broke at. 
sample. oz. oz. (approx.) lb. 





















Sample Xo. I was very sloppy, mak- 
ing any tamping impossible. Between 
this and sample No. 2 there seemed to 

be little difference in the working. 
Sample No. 3 could be lightly tamped, 
while it was necessary to tamp sample 
No. 4 quite solidly to make the mass 
compact, the mortar being unable to 
hold together without it. 

In making briquettes the best way 
to mix the neat cement with water is to 
place it on a glass plate in a ring and 
pour the water into the ring and turn 
the cement into the water. If the 
water is added gradually the cement 
will take up of a greater amount of it 
and not always in the same proportion, 
causing the results to vary. If there 
is any suspicion of air bubbles in the 
cement after it is pressed in the mold 
they may be brought to the surface by 
taking up the mold on a small glass 
plate and jarring it lightly on the edge 
of a table. 

The briquette testing machine which 
the writer has used is shown in outline 
in Fig. 3. The sequence of operations 
is as follows : Hang the cup F on the 
end of the beam D. See that the poise 
R is at the zero mark, and balance the 
beam by turning the ball L. Fill the 
hopper B with fine shot. Place the 
briquette in the clamps W. W. 

In placing the briquette in the 
clamps it should be carefully adjusted 
so that the four rollers which grip 
the briquette will be parallel ; other- 
wise a side strain will be exerted on 
the briquette and cause it to break be- 
tween the jaws of the clamps and not 
at the smallest section. 

Tighten the hand wheel P enough 
to cause the beam D to rise to the stop 
K. Just enough pressure should be 
placed on the beam to hold it against 
the stop. Then open the automatic 
valve / and allow the shot to run into 
the cup F. AVhere the spout joins the 
shot reservoir a small valve is pro- 
vided to regulate the flow of shot. 
When the briquette breaks the beam D 
drops and closes the valve /, thus stop- 
ping the flow of shot. Then remove 
the cup and hang it on the hook un- 
der the ball E. Hang the counterpoise 
G where the cup F first hung. Then 
by sliding the poise R on the beam D 
and, if necessary, adding the weights 
H to the counterpoise G, the reading 
on D will give the number of pounds 
per square inch at which the briquette 

Sometimes the briquette will stretch 
so that the beam D will fall and shut 
off the flow of shot before the bri- 
quette breaks. The beam should then 
be raised against the stop and the 
hand wheel turned enough to hold the 
beam suspended. The flow of shot is 
again started as before. 


Sand, whether for cement mortar 
or for concrete, should be clean, 
coarse, sharp and free from dirt, loam 
and clay. The requirement for clean- 

ness and freedom from dirt, etc., is 
necessary because the cement will not 
adhere to these yielding materials, 
which prevent the formation of a solid 
mass. Also when the sand is coarse 
and sharp the irregular particles not 
only hold the cement better, but also 
pack more closely, leaving fewer voids 
to be filled with the cement. In con- 
nection with this it may be said that a 
sand with particles varying in size will 
make better concrete, as the smaller 
particles will fill the voids between the 
larger particles. 


The specifications regarding stone 
usually require that it shall be of trap 
rock, hard limestone or other suitable 
kind. The size may vary from that 
required to pass through a three- 
fourth-inch ring to the two-inch size, 
according to the size of the work. It 
is usual to specify but one size for a 
particular job, but, as with sand, vary- 
ing sizes of stone in the concrete will 
diminish the voids to be filled with the 
sand and cement and make a more 
solid mass. The reason that this idea 


FIG. 4 

is not carried out in practice is doubt- 
less due to the extra labor required in. 
mixing the stone of various sizes, as 
stone is usually sold in lots of one 


The proportions most widely used 
in mixing concrete are one of cement, 

May, 1909 



three of sand and five of rock. In the- 
ory, the sand is supposed to fill the 
voids in the rock and the cement to fill 
the voids in the sand. Acting 1 under 
this theory then, if the proportions of 
one, three and five were correct for 
rock of two-inch size, rock of smaller 
size would contain less voids and 
would therefore require less sand. In 
practice, however, the proportions re- 
main the same for the various sizes or- 
dinarily in use in structural or foun- 
dation work. 

In measuring the proportions, a bar- 
rowful is usually taken as the unit of 
measure, so that a batch would be 
made up of one barrow of cement, 
three barrows of sand and five barrows 
of stone. 

When the mixer is placed in such a 
location that wheeling barrows of the 
raw material up an incline is necessary, 
close inspection must be exercised, as 
the workmen will show a tendency to 
fill the barrows less than the proper 
amount in order to lighten the load. 


With regard to machine mixing, it 
mav be said that it matters little in 
what order the sand, cement and stone 
are placed in the mixer, as the con- 
struction of any good mixer serves to 
thoroughly combine the three in a very 
short time. In hand mixing, however, 
a certain cycle of operations is neces- 
sary. On a suitable mixing-board the 
sand is first spread, then the cement is 
placed on top and leveled off. The two 
layers are then turned until the whole 
presents a uniform color, when suf- 
ficient water is added to bring it to the 
desired consistency. The mixture is 
then leveled off and wet stone added, 
the whole being turned over until the 
stone is thoroughly incorporated in the 

In placing the concrete the ideal 
way would be to chute it directly to the 
place desired. This, however, is sel- 
dom possible in practice, some fall 
from the end of the chute being un- 
avoidable. The greater the fall, the 
greater is the chance for the stone and 
the cement and sand to separate ; hence 
the necessity for keeping the mass to- 
gether on its way from the mixer to 
the form. 

In order to obtain a smooth surface 
on the concrete it is necessary to work 
a spade between the wet concrete and 
the form to push back the rock and al- 
low the mortar to come into contact 
with the form. The best implement 
for this purpose may be made from the 
so-called tiling-spade . or "sharpshoot- 
er," with holes cut in the blade as 
shown in Fig. 4. These holes will 
allow the mortar to run through, while 
the rock is held away from the form. 
Some concrete workers seek to ac- 
complish the same end by chuting the 
concrete against the sides of the form 

so that the rock will rebound and the 
mortar remain close to the form. This 
has the disadvantage, however, that 
the mortar will be splashed over the 
form, the wood will absorb the mois- 
ture, the mortar will set, and when 
the form is removed the surface of the 
concrete will be pockmarked, because 
the splashings have kept the wet con- 
crete awav from the form. 

Report of the "Western Electric Co. 

According to a report of the West- 
ern Electric Co., the business in Feb- 
ruary ran at the rate of about $45,000,- 
000 a year. The business of the West- 
ern Electric Co. with the telephone 
companies has shown a steady in- 
crease from month to month, but a 
large part of the improvement contin- 
ues to lie with the machinery depart- 
ment. As in January, a number of 
the Hawthorne shops are operating at 
full capacity and the electric-light ma- 
chinery shops are operating overtime. 
The most recent large order of im- 
portance was for two generators total- 
ing 1800 h.p. for the Albany shops of 
the Xew York Central. At the pres- 
ent time the company has somewhat 
over 16,000 employees on its payrolls, 
and the number is being increased 

Lamp Signals in the Boiler-Room 

It is most important in modern 
plants equipped with automatic appa- 
ratus of an auxiliary character to know 
that things are going right when no 
one is in sight of the machinery. In 
some cases, for example, says the 
Electrical Review, of London, it is 
necessary to operate fans on the 
forced draught system at varying 
speeds, depending upon the require- 
ments of the load. In one station vis- 
ited the boiler-room was about 300 ft. 
long, and only a part of the boilers 
were provided with forced draught, 
the rest depending upon the natural air 
supply furnished by a large and high 

Under ordinary conditions of load 
the natural draught boilers were oper- 
ated, but when the demands upon the 
station increased beyond the economi- 
cal capacity of the furnaces and water- 
heating surfaces, the additional boilers 
were brought into use, calling for the 
operation of the fans by small slow- 
speed horizontal engines exhausting 
into the feed-water heating system. It 
was desirable in this boiler-room to cut 
down the labor cost as much as possi- 
ble, and on account of the great length 
of the plant it was found possible to 
reduce the supervision of the machin- 
ery by installing a simple lamp circuit 
on each fan, fed on a no- volt line. At 
each turn of the fan a contact was 
made in the lamp circuit, and the posi- 

tion of the lamp for each fan above the 
boiler-room floor enabled the force at 
the other end of the room, and par- 
ticularly the boiler-room foreman, to 
see how the fan speed was varying, by 
counting the flashes corresponding to 
the revolutions. 

Although in many plants the feed 
pumps and condensing equipment are 
situated under the eye of an operating 
engineer who spends most of his time 
in their supervision, it is sometimes de- 
sirable- to install a lamp-signal circuit 
which will indicate the number of 
pump strokes in a given time. A min- 
iature lamp on a reliable battery cir- 
cuit, or run by power-house current 
through a suitable resistence to cut 
down the voltage, can be fitted up with 
little trouble and cost, and arranged to 
indicate either in the chief engineer's 
office or elsewhere the operation of the 
pumps throughout the entire period of 
plant operation. In the same way. an 
indicating lamp circuit is useful when 
connected with the motor driving the 
coal crusher or conveyer. The cost 
of operating such a circuit is a small 
matter compared with the convenience 
of knowing just what is taking place 
in the less accessible portions of the 

Electric Headlig'Hts in NortH 

The Legislature of North Carolina 
has passed a law requiring electric 
headlights to be used on all road loco- 
motives within four years. The law 
specifies an "electric or power head- 
light" of at least 1500 c.p.. measured 
without the aid of the reflector. Of 
the engines of any company not now 
equipped, one-fourth must have the 
lights by April 1, 1910; one-fourth the 
next year ; one-fourth the next, and all 
by April 1, 191 3. The law does not 
apply to engines regularly used for 
switching, nor to those used only in the 
daytime, nor to engines going to shops 
for repairs. An engine may finish its 
trip notwithstanding the unavoidable 
disablement of its headlight, if the 
light was in good condition when the 
engine started out. A further excep- 
tion is made of North Carolina roads 
"independently owned" operating 125 
miles or less, and of roads outside the 
State which operate only 100 miles in 
North Carolina; further, the corpora- 
tion commission, in its discretion, may 
make exceptions. Violation of the 
law is a misdemeanor. 

The March number of Graphite, the 
publication of the Joseph Dixon Cruci- 
ble Co., of Jersey City, N. J., contains 
much that is of interest. Chapter X 
of the article by W. H. Wakeman, on 
"Preventing Corrosion of Steam Ma- 
chinery," with other features, make the 
pamphlet worth having. 

Curtis Steam Turbines for Large 

Power Stations 


FIG. 1 

The following figures are given to 
indicate the number and size of Cur- 
tis turbines at present in operation : In 
the States 232 machines operate in 
lighting stations, each machine aver- 
aging over 2100 kw., with a total ca- 
pacity of slightly greater than 500,000 
kw. Railway companies are using 153 
machines with an average capacity 
of over 1800 kw., while more than 100 
machines are employed for other pow- 
er purposes with an aggregate capac- 
ity of nearly 90,000 kw. These tur- 
bines only include those used for 
lighting and power and do not account 
for the small turbines of 300 kw. and 
under employed for excitation and 
other miscellaneous purposes, of 
which close on 700 are in use. 

Outsides of the States turbines ag- 
gregating over 100,000 kw. in capac- 
ity have been installed, making a total 
kilowatt capacity in operation over 
1,000,000 kw. at the present time. Ex- 


pressed as a percentage, 55 per cent, 
of the total kilowatt capacity is used 
by lighting companies, 29 per cent, by 
railway companies, slightly over 11 
per cent, for general power, and the 
remainder, practically all of which are 
of the horizontal type and of small in- 
dividual capacity, are employed for 
miscellaneous purposes. 

Besides those just mentioned, about 
50 large vertical turbines of 1000-kw. 
capacity and over are now on order, 
aggregating a total capacity of prac- 
tically 200,000 kw. The size of these 
machines ranges from 1000 kw. to 
14,000 kw. each, the average individ- 
ual capacity being nearly 4000 kw. In 
a list of these turbines the total capac- 
ity of units of 5000 kw. and over pre- 
ponderates, showing how popular the 
Curtis type has become in large sizes. 
It is clear from the above that the ver- 
tical turbine supplies a large propor- 
tion of the total power of the country, 

that it is operating in a great number 
of big power plants and that the size 
of many of the units exceeds any pre- 
viously built. 

For economical operation very high 
vacuum has . always been advocated, 
for the reason that the chief advan- 
tage held by the Curtis type lies in its 
power of efficiently abstracting from 
the steam the large amount of energy 
available at very low pressures. The 
reciprocating engine cannot operate 
successfully at a lower vacuum than 
26 in., and hence loses a great deal of 
the available steam energy which the 
turbine utilizes down to a vacuum as 
low as 29 in. Condensers can be built 
to maintain these low pressures as 
readily and at no greater expense than 
is required for those used with other 
forms of prime movers. In the ma- 
jority of large Curtis turbines, the 
condenser is located in the base, which 
considerably facilitates the production 

May, 1909 



FIG. 2 


of high vacuum. So economical is the 
operation of the Curtis type under 
these conditions that provision has 
been made in all large power stations 
for obtaining a vacuum of 28 in. or 
better ; in fact, over 29 in. of vacuum 
is continuously maintained in many 
large stations where these machines 
are used. 

In support of the foregoing state- 
ments it is of interest to note that an 
increase of one inch of vacuum be- 
tween 28 in. and 29 in. increases the 
energy available from steam when op- 
erating at a boiler pressure of 200 lb. 
per sq. in. by 19 per cent. The Cur- 
tis turbine is able to utilize fully 80 
per cent, of this large increase in en- 
ergy, that is to say, the one-inch in- 
crease of vacuum reduces the coal pile 

as much as 15 per cent, per kilo- 
watt-hour at the switchboard, with- 
out any additional cost being in- 

Though the advantages gained with 
high vacuum are the more important, 
a considerable economy is gained by 
using a high initial steam pressure. 
With every 11 lb. increase of boiler 
pressure the coal bill is reduced .1 
per cent, per kilowatt-hour, this saving 
being net and actually produced under 
operating conditions, many cases, in- 
deed, showing even better results. Thus 
a wide range between the inlet and con- 
denser pressure is the essential reason 
for the economy which is obtained, 
and it is due to the appreciation of this 
fact that the Curtis turbine has shown 
such a great advance over all other 

prime movers which derive their en- 
ergy from steam. 

The actual coal consumption ob- 
tained in the various stations using the 
Curtis turbine naturally varies ac- 
cording to the location of the plant, 
the type of boiler installed, the kind 
of coal used and many other factors. 
An average figure of 1.95 lb. of coal 
per kilowatt-hour at the switchboard 
is, however, a fair estimate when 
Eastern coal of about 13,500 B.t.u. is 
used, 2.8 lb. per kilowatt-hour being 
about the proper figure when a lower 
grade of coal as found in the West is 
employed. These figures compare 
veryfavorably with the amount of coal 
used with Parson's turbines or recip- 
rocating engines of approximately 
equal capacity. 



May, 1909 

FIG. 3 

In respect to maintenance charges, 
the Curtis turbine holds an excellent 
record, these being in the majority of 
cases considerably lower than are ob- 
tained with other types of plant. The 
large number of turbines that have 
been running over a long period of 
time give sufficient evidence to the 
truth of this statement, and it is not 
uncommon to find many that were in- 
stalled three or four years ago still 
operating as perfectly as when first 
started without having required any 
replacement or repair. 

Besides effecting great economies in 
the cost of fuel and maintenance, the 
station staff necessary for operation is 
much less than is required with recip- 
rocating engines. In a comparison 
between a Curtis turbine station and 
a representative modern engine sta- 
tion using the same kind of coal and 
of approximately equal capacity, the 
turbine-station labor bill per kilowatt- 
hour was found to be slightly less than 
27 per cent, of that of the reciproca- 
ting station. The coal bill was only 
81 per cent, and the total cost of op- 
eration 62 per cent. These figures 
were obtained by averaging over a 
period of more than four months and 

can therefore be taken as representing 
normal operating conditions. 

If these results are figured in dol- 
lars on the basis of a 20,000-kw. pow- 
er station operating at about 40 per 
cent, load factor, and therefore using 
about 70,000,000 kw-hr. per annum, 
the turbine station shows a saving of 
over $40,000 in coal, $60,000 in labor 
and a total saving for operation and 
maintenance of a little more than 
$110,000 per annum. Such instances 
are not specially selected, and others 
could as readily be given demonstra- 
ting equally good or even better econ- 

The vertical type of turbine manu- 
factured for large powers takes up 
very much less space than that re- 
quired by a Parson's turbine or recip- 
rocating engine of equal capacity, and 
therefore quite aside from its more 
efficient utilization of the steam en- 
ergy, which reduces the number of 
and space occupied by the boilers, re- 
quires smaller buildings and less land 
for a given output. Not including real 
estate, the price of which varies too 
much to estimate, the total first cost 
of a complete power station and plant 

will average from $50 to $60 per 
kilowatt for a total station capacity 
ranging between 25,000 kw. to 50,000 
kw., $60 to $70 per kilowatt being a 
fair figure for station capacities be- 
tween 25,000 kw. to 15,000 kw., the 
turbines being rated on a maximum 
load basis in all cases. 

The use of these turbines will there- 
fore materially reduce the amount of 
capitalization required for new power 
schemes, besides allowing a larger in- 
come to be derived from the operation 
of the plant, even if the price of energy 
to the consumer is smaller than is 
usually permissible when reciproca- 
ting engine or Parson's turbine sta- 
tions supply the power. In addition 
to these advantages, the capacity of 
existing stations using other forms of 
prime movers can be often materially 
increased without incurring the cost 
of additional buildings by installing 
Curtis units. Many power stations 
have already taken advantage of this 
fact by installing turbines in addition 
to or in place of their existing plant, 
thereby increasing the station output 
with the resultant economies incident 
to turbine operation. 

May, 1909 



New Electrical Heating' Devices 

A new 6-lb. electric flat-iron, manu- 
factured by the American Electrical 
Heater Company, of Detroit, is illus- 
trated herewith. It has been sold by 
this company since, the first of the 
year, and seems to have the proper 
qualities for a highly efficient and sat- 
isfactory laundry iron. 

This new "Superior" iron is pro- 
vided with a heating element of pecul- 


iar construction. No wire is used, 
but heat is generated by a flat ele- 
ment, practically a solid mass of metal 
covering the entire bottom plate of the 
iron — in fact, being a portion of it. 
Thus economy of heat units and dis- 
tribution is obtained, and the iron has 
an even heat in the point, sides, mid- 
dle and heel. 

The company reports a most grati- 
fying sale of the "Superior" iron, and 
it has met with exceptional favor 
throughout this country, Canada and 

The percolator, also illustrated, is of 
the well-known "American Universal" 


type. It is claimed that the percolator 
does not boil the coffee, but that perco- 
lation begins during the first minute 
after turning on the current, and in 
about 10 minutes the coffee is ready 
for serving. If a fairly good grade of 
coffee is used, it is claimed that ideal 
results are obtained. 

Another new device is the new disc 
heater illustrated here. Its uses are 
well known, and every user of the 
heater finds it impossible to get along 
without it, as it may be used in a hun- 
dred and one ways around the house 
for such purposes as frying eggs or 
chops, boiling water and for innumer- 
able other purposes, such as tea mak- 
ing, etc. This heater is new in de- 

sign and is provided with the well- were made by a method which meas- 

known "Steel-Clad" element, which is ures the heat given off from the bot- 

efficient and durable and instantly re- torn of the iron only, ignoring that 

placeable. It is finished in polished part given off by the other surfaces, as 

nickel, with ebonoid handles and heat- 


insulated legs, which prevent the de- 
vice from scorching or scratching a 
polished surface. 

Any of the devices shown here may 
be attached to the ordinary lamp 
socket, and are exceedingly cheap to 

j\n Improved Type of Electric 

The increasing demand for electric 
flat-irons has resulted in the produc- 
tion of many different designs, the 
majority of which have been steadily 
improved each succeeding year so 
that their use is rapidly increasing 
among the customers of electric light 

Realizing the actual conditions sur- 
rounding the design, manufacture, 
sale and application of electric irons, 
the Central Electric Company, Chica- 

FIGS. 1 AND 2 

go, 111., made a careful investigation 
of the different irons and secured au- 
thentic data as to the operation under 
actual service conditions. 

As the efficiency of an iron is that 
proportion of the electric energy flow- 
ing into the iron which manifests it- 
self as useful heat on the bottom or at 
the ironing surface, complete tests 

heat at these latter points serves no 
useful purpose in ironing. 

The results of these tests are tabu- 
lated below as percentages of abso- 
lute efficiency. Table I represents the 

FIG. 3 

new Central "Universal" iron, Table 2 
represents a second type of iron on the 
market, and Table 3 represents the 
averages of seven other irons which 
have been on the market for the past 
two or three years. 

To effectually and quickly iron 
damp or wet goods it is essential that 
the nose, or point of the iron be hot- 

fig. 4 

ter than the center. If this feature 
were not taken care of by proper de- 
sign the point would cool to such an 
extent that the speed of ironing would 
be materially reduced. 

In the "Universal" iron the desired 
heat distribution is secured by so lo- 
cating the heating element that the 
edges and points of the ironing plates 
are initially hotter than the center. 
The location and construction of this 
improved heating element is clearly 
shown in Fig. 1 and the heating effect 
is illustrated by the well-known 
burned paper diagram, Fig. 2. 

It is interesting to note that an iron 
"snaps" at approximately 250 F. 
The ordinary domestic iron is better 
at 400 ° F. and the average laundry 
iron at approximately 500 F. 

Again referring to the tabulated 
data given above it will be noted that 
on the basis of 250 F. at the bottom 
of the iron, the temperature at the top 

Absolute efficiency 

Current Consumption 

Time required to heat bottom plates to 250 de 
grees F 

Temperature of top at same time 

Time required to heat bottom plate to 500 de 

grees F 

Temperature at top at same time 

Table No. 1 

400 w. 

2 min. 

72 degrees F. 

5 min. 
1 50 degrees F. 

Tatsle No. 2 


475 w. 

3 J min. 

100 degrees F. 

8 min. 
250 degrees F. 

Table No. 3 

533 w. 

4J min. 

137 degrees F. 

13 min. 
398 degrees F. 



May, 1909 

of the various types varies from 72° 
to 137° F., and with a temperature of 
500 at the bottom of the iron, the 
temperature at the top of the various 
irons varies from 350 to 398 . 

It is claimed that the iron shown in 

FIG. 5 

Table 1 is much superior to those cov- 
ered by the other tables in that the top 
of the iron runs much cooler and less 
heat is radiated and wasted from this 

Fig. 3 illustrates the improved iron, 
the tests of which are shown in Table 
1. Fig. 4 illustrates the various ele- 
ments. It will be noted that the heat- 
ing element is firmly clamped between 
the body of the iron and the ironing 
plate, which is shown in the reverse 
position, illustrating the method by 
which it is bolted to the upper ele- 
ment. Fig. 5 illustrates the method of 
operating the heat-regulating switch, 
by the use of which the operator can 
keep the iron at a definite temperature 
with a minimum consumption of en- 
ergy. As a matter of interest it might 
be stated that the 6^2 -lb. "Universal" 
iron consumes approximately 400 

A Model Aluminum LigHtningJ- 
Arrester Installation 

The Schenectady Power Company's 
system is protected by an interesting 
and thoroughly modern installation of 
aluminum lightning arresters. From 
a 40-cycle three-phase generating sta- 
tion on the Hoosic River, near 
Schaghticoke, N. Y., about 1200 kw. 
at 32,000 volts is transmitted 21 miles 
to the works of the General Electric 
Company at Schenectady, N. Y. 

The transmission lines are in dupli- 

cate and are supported on specially 
constructed steel towers, the link type 
of suspension insulator being used. 
Although the line crosses both the 
Hudson and Mohawk Valleys at points 
where lightning is very severe, no spe- 
cial protective apparatus was designed 
to meet these conditions. Arresters 
of standard design are in use, and they 
have given entire satisfaction since 
they were installed. A ^-in stranded 
steel wire, grounded at each tower, is 
supported above the lines at the tops 
of the towers. 

The generating station and the sub- 
station at the Schenectady end are 
both equipped with aluminum arresters 
of the latest design. The construction 

fig. 1 

incoming lines at schenectady terminal of 

schenectady power co.'s system 

FIG. 2 



of these arresters is very simple. A 
series of aluminum cones, each being 
partially filled with an electrolyte, is 
rigidly held together, the complete unit 
being immersed in oil in a steel tank 
and connected to ground and line. 
An adjustable horn-gap is placed be- 
tween the arrester and the line. 

The useful characteristic of the type 
of aluminum arrester used in this in- 
stallation is its critical voltage, which 
depends upon the formation of a thin 
film on the surfaces of the aluminum 
cones. This film normally has a very 
high resistance, and up to its critical 
voltage point allows exceedingly low 
currents to pass, but above this point 
the current is limited only by the in- 
ternal resistance of the electrolyte. 
The closest analogy to this action is 
found in the well-known safety valve 
of the steam boiler. On the aluminum 
plate are myriads of these safety 
valves, so that if the electric pressure 

arises above the critical voltage, a free 
discharge takes place equally over the 
entire surface. 

When the arrester is not in opera- 
tion the film dissolves slightly in the 
electrolyte. In order to keep the film 
in good condition provision is made 
so that the arrester can be momentarily 
connected to the line each day. 

Besides serving as spark-gaps to 
prevent full voltage from being con- 
tinually impressed on the arresters, 
the horn-gaps serve as short-circuiting 
switches to momentarily connect the 
arrester to the line and also as dis- 
connecting switches to isolate the ar- 
rester from the line when desired. 

The arresters on the Schaghticoke 
system are designed to discharge con- 
tinuously for half an hour, although 
in actual tests arresters of this type 
have discharged continuously for two. 
hours. Half an hour, however, is 
considered sufficiently long to remedy 
whatever trouble may be on the line. 
When a phase becomes grounded and 
the arrester begins to discharge, an 
alarm bell attracts the attention of the 
operator. This discharge alarm con- 
sists of a single aluminum cell placed 
in the ground connection to the ar- 
rester proper and an ordinary electric 
bell in shunt with the cell, the bell 
ringing only when current passes to 

The accompanying illustration,. 
Fig. 1, shows the incoming lines at 
the Schenectady terminal and the sub- 
stantial manner in which the construc- 
tion is carried out. The main lines 
enter the station through six roof- 
entrance bushings, the arresters being 
installed in the raised portion of the 
station shown at the right of the illus- 

In Fig. 2 is shown the interior of 
the arrester compartment. As this is. 
a non-grounded neutral system, four 
stacks of cones are used, a multiplex 
connection giving equal protection be- 
tween the lines, as well as between line 
and ground. The transfer switch, 
shown between the third and fourth 
tanks in the illustration, is used to 
interchange the connections between 
these stacks of cones, so that the cells 
may be equally charged when they are 
daily connected to the line. 

The installation is very compact, the 
distance from the floor to the top of 
insulators being about 85 in. ; the 
length of the supporting frame is about 
93 in. 

At the Schaghticoke end of the line 
the arresters are installed in fire-proof 
compartments in the rear Of the 
switchboard, while the horn-gaps are 
located on the roof of the power- 

Similar installations of these arrest- 
ers have been made on other high- 
tension transmission lines in different: 

May, J 909 



parts of the country, notably on the 
system of the Southern Power Com- 
pany and the high-tension lines of the 
Animas Power & Water Co. in South- 
ern Colorado. The operating record 
in the latter installation is an extreme- 
ly interesting one, the number of shut- 
downs due to lightning being reduced 
88 per cent, in a single year. In this, 
as in other installations, the arresters 
have required no attention whatever, 
except the regular charging required 
to keep the film in good condition. 

A. New Portable Ventilating' Set 

For the ventilation of small rooms 
or a portion of a building not well 
ventilated by natural means or by a 
complete fan system, small fans have 
been used. These have usually been 
of the so-called desk or propeller type 
because of cheapness and portability. 
It is a common sight in any large office 
to see nearly all of the desks equipped 
with small fans setting in motion the 
air in the room. The fans, however, 
produce ventilation that may be 
termed "apparent," but with a little 
consideration one can see that the ven- 
tilation is not real, for the foul and 
overheated air is not removed. 

The B. F. Sturtevant Company, of 
Hyde Park, Mass., is now placing 
upon the market a new electric venti- 
lating set, which has the great advan- 
tage of producing real ventilation. It 
does not stir up overheated and viti- 
ated air and send it whirling around 
the room, but removes it completely so 
that fresh, pure air may take its place. 
It is true that this fan is a little more 
expensive than the desk type, but the 
results obtained are well worth the 

It is built in three sizes, all of which 
are so small as to be readily carried 
about the building, yet they positively 
deliver a volume of air so large and 
at such pressure, as to make them de- 
cidedly useful. The smaller size 
weighs but 25 lb. and delivers 150 cu. 
ft. of air per minute at an operating 
expense of about one cent per hour. 
The largest size weighs only 50 lb., but 
delivers 400 cu. ft. of air at a cost of 
less than three cents per hour. The 
smaller sizes of these sets are es- 
pecially adapted to residences, club- 
houses, etc. Easily transferred, they 
may be used for ventilating a sitting- 
room or parlor, removing cooking 
odors from the kitchen, or ventilating 
the cellar.' 

In many residences the draft for the 
furnace is so weak that much time is 
required before an appreciable quan- 
tity of heat is available. With one of 
these small blowers the draft can be 
quickly accelerated so that the heat 
will be available immediately. 



These sets, to which have been given the centrifugal type, and because of its 

the name "Ready-to-Run," consist of a great capacity in a small place, delivers 

small dust-proof motor driving a a large volume of air, larger, it is 

cased fan of the multivane type. This claimed, than any other fan of the 

type of fan is the latest development in same size and weight. To meet all 



May, 1909 

conditions they are equipped with al- 
ternating or direct-current motors and 
are supplied with a flexible canvas hose 
for the outlet and a cord and plug so 
that the set will be "Ready-to-Run" at 
a moment's notice. Installation work 
is unnecessary with one of these sets, 
for it is made ready for operation by 
simply putting the plug in the electric- 
light socket and turning the switch. 

Motor-Driven Concrete Mixer in 
Record Performance 

One of the most noteworthy build- 
ings of re-inforced-concrete construc- 
tion in the west is that being built for 
the Sacramento Hotel Company, Sac- 
ramento, Cal. Messrs. Sellon and 
Hemmings, architects for the State of 
California, designed the building, 
which covers a lot 160 ft. by 140 ft. 
on a site a block distant from the Capi- 
tol, and consists of basement, first and 
mezzanine floors, and three floors for 
guests rooms. 

In planning for the construction of 
this large building, the general con- 
tractor, the Ransome Concrete Com- 
pany, of San Francisco, took pains to 
install an equipment which would be 
thoroughly reliable and durable, and 
also insure the rapid handling of ma- 

The principal element of the plant, 
the concrete mixer and hoisting-ma- 
chine, was especially designed for the 
Ransome Concrete Company by C. G. 
Meyers, of Norman B. Livermore & 
Company, San Francisco, Cal, to meet 
the requirements of heavy continuous 
service. The concrete machine con- 
sists of a special combination Ran- 
some concrete mixer mounted on a 
10-in. steel I-beam frame. On the 
end opposite the mixer is mounted a 
Mead-Morrison single-drum hoist. 
Both mixer and hoist are arranged 
to be driven directly through gearing 
by a 30-h.p. Westinghouse alternating- 
current motor operating at 850 rev. 
per. min. on 200-volt, 60-cycle, three- 
phase current and equipped with the 
necessary auto-starter. The mixer is 
provided with a patent water-measur- 
ing device and a measuring hopper. 
The hoist is used in operating the 
concrete hoist-bucket. The whole ar- 
rangement forms a compact machine, 
the steel frame giving great stability 
to the outfit. 

The mixer was set up in its perma- 
nent location in the basement under 
the sidewalk and retained in that lo- 
cation until all the concrete had been 
deposited in the building. Crushed 
rock and gravel was brought to the 
site by teams and dumped into large 
material bins, from which it was fed 
by means of a belt-conveyer to a large 
charging hopper mounted above the 

mixer. After mixing, the green con- 
crete was hauled by means of con- 
crete carts to the moulds. 

That the arrangement as installed 
was an efficient one is well demon- 
strated by a record made September 
3, 1908, when the company placed 381 
cu. yd. of concrete in 8% hours. 
This involved the mixing of 315 
cu. yd. of rock, 158 cu. yd. of sand 
and 572 bbls. of cement; a total of 
551 cu. yd. of loose, dry material, 
which weighed in the aggregate 
1,427,000 lb. The addition to this 
dry material of 460 bbls. of water 
brings the actual weight of material 
handled to 1,547,600 lb. All the ma- 
terial was raised on a hoist-bucket a 
height of 15 ft. and dumped into a 
bin fitted with two concrete bin gates. 
From here it was distributed to the 
forms, using 10 concrete carts as car- 

The maximum haul for placing this 
concrete was 225 ft., the average haul 
150 ft. By average haul is meant the 
distance which the material had to be 
carted, the round trip being twice that 
distance. In doing this work but 10 
men were used in wheeling the 10 
carts, each man handling his cart alone 
and working the full day, so that the 
average amount of material placed by 
each during the day weighed over 
75 tons. The material was thoroughly 
mixed in the mixer and, in addition, 
was turned over four times in being 
handled between the mixer and the 

Movement against Gasoline in 

The Colorado Electric Light, Power 
& Railway Association has been for 
some time actively engaged in com- 
batting the gasoline evil in the State 
of Colorado. Two years ago, through 
the efforts of the association, a bill 
was passed by the State Legislature 
covering an amendment to the law 
then on the statutes, which prevented 
the use of gasoline except only when 
tanks were placed under ground, ex- 
terior to the buildings in which gaso- 
line lighting was used. The manufac- 
turers of the gasoline apparatus 
fought the law as applied to a con- 
sumer in Denver, who was brought up 
before the court and fined, the lower 
court upholding the law. 

. Following is a copy of the amend- 
ment. The matter is still in the courts, 
preparatory to being carried to the 
supreme court of the State of Colo- 

Petroleum Oil 
(Inspection of). 


To amend an Act entitled an Act 
providing for the inspection of all 
kinds of petroleum oil that shall be 
used for illuminating purposes, regu- 

lating the sale of said oil, providing 
for certain appointments and re- 
movals to be made by the Governor, 
defining what shall constitute certain 
misdemeanors, prescribing penalties, 
and containing other matters properly 
connected therewith. Approved April 
14, 1899. 

Be it enacted by the General Assem- 
bly of the State of Colorado: 

Section 1. — That the act entitled 
an Act providing for the inspection of 
all kinds of petroleum oil that shall be 
used for illuminating purposes, regu- 
lating the sale of said oil, providing 
for certain appointments and removals 
to be made by the Governor, defining 
what shall constitute certain misde- 
meanors, prescribing penalties, and 
certain other matters properly con- 
nected therewith, approved April 14, 
1899 ; be, and the same is hereby, 
amended by adding the following sec- 
tion thereto: 

Section 14. — Any person who shall 
knowingly sell or use for lighting or 
illuminating purposes any oil of any 
kind before the same has been duly 
inspected and approved as required by 
this Act shall be fined in the sum not 
less than twenty dollars ($20.00) nor 
more than two hundred dollars 
($200.00), provided that the provi- 
sions of this Act shall not apply to 
sperm, lard or gasoline used for il- 
luminating purposes in lamps for 
lighting streets, public ways, alleys or 
mines. Also the gas or vapor from 
such oils may be used for illuminating 
purposes where the oils from, which 
said gas or vapor is generated are 
contained in reservoirs under ground 
outside the buildings illuminated or 
lighted by the gas generated from the 
gasoline. All gasoline oils sold in the 
State of Colorado for heating, burn- 
ing or power purposes shall be tested 
in the following manner : By hydrom- 
eter for specific gravity. The tem- 
perature at the line of test shall be 
from 15 to 18 C. or 6o° F. ; the 
specific gravity to be marked on the 
tanks, casks, packages or barrels, the 
same as provided in this Act for other 
oils, and the same fee shall be paid as 
provided herein. 

Approved April 8, 1907. 

What might be called a pocket edi- 
tion general catalog has just been is- 
sued by the Joseph Dixon Crucible 
Company, of Jersey City, N. J. This 
lists their principal products, such as 
crucibles, facings, lubricating graphite, 
greases, pencils, protective paint, etc., 
giving brief descriptions and prices. 
The booklet is of commercial envelope 
size, and will conveniently go in the 
pocket or desk pigeonhole. It is sub- 
stantially bound in tough cover stock 
and attractively printed. 

May, 1909 

An Insulating Transformer for 
Telephone Lines 

An insulating transformer for use 
on telephone lines, recently placed on 
the market by the General Electric 
Company, is shown in the annexed il- 
lustration. The purpose of this 
transformer is two-fold: 

First, to safeguard the users of tele- 
phones from the dangers of high volt- 
age, due either to induction or acci- 
dental contact between telephone and 
power lines, where these lines are on 
the same pole or upon a parallel ad- 
jacent line of poles. 

Second, to improve the telephone 
service by removal of the ordinary 
small ground gap carbon arrester 
from direct connection with the line, 
as well as to obtain better insulation 
by removing the interior wiring, in- 
strument, batteries and other parts 
from direct connection with the line. 

Special attention has been given to 
the electrical and mechanical design 
of the transformer; the high-fre- 
quency talking currents are trans- 
formed with small loss, while at the 
same time the magnetizing current, 
which must be supplied by the ring- 
ing generator, is vey small. Tests show 
that the magnetizing current taken 
by this transformer is about half the 




current passed by a standard iooo- 
ohm bell. As can be seen from Fig. 
i, the insulating transformer is as- 
sembled in a weatherproof iron case, 
and may, if desired, be installed out of 
doors and mounted in any convenient 

In designing this transformer the 
insulation has been considered of pri- 
mary importance. A high-potential 
test of 25,000 volts between windings 
for one minute is given to each trans- 
former before shipment. The high 



insulating quality assured by this test 
makes the transformer a sturdy piece 
of apparatus under ordinary condi- 
tions of operation, but the best pro- 
tection is afforded when it is installed 
with a combined switch, fuse and 

FIG. 3- 


lightning arrester. This combination 
affords the greatest safety to both the 
even in the most extreme cases when 
the telephone lines come in actual con- 

tact with a high-tension power circuit, 
telephone instruments and the user, 
The switch, fuse and lightning ar- 
rester combination recommended for 
this service is shown at the top of Fig. 
2, the whole being mounted on a base 
of insulating material. The long- 
handled insulated hook at the right of 
the illustration is used to pull 
the switch open when it is desired 
to disconnect the telephone and 
transformer from the line. The ar- 
rester is hinged at the bottom, the 
insulated hook engaging with a ring 
at the top of the arrester. The usual 
form of carbon arrester with mica sep- 
aration is used to protect the winding 
of the transformer against any ab- 
normal difference of potential which 
might accidentally exist between the 
telephone lines. This arrester is con- 
nected across the terminals of the 
transformer, but is not connected with 
the ground. 

An adjustable gap arrester is con- 
nected between the telephone lines and 
ground, the function of this arrester 
being to take care of lightning dis- 
charges and, in case of actual contact 
with high-tension lines, to arc over 
and blow the fuse, thus disconnecting 
the transformer and telephones from 
the line. Should a ground occur on 
the adjacent high-tension line, the volt- 
age induced on the telephone line will 
not materially interfere with the serv- 
ice, provided the line is sufficiently 
well insulated. The adjustable air 
gap is set just beyond the point where 
this induced voltage will arc across. 

Tests on a 30,000-volt transmission 
line in actual operation showed that a 
ground on one phase of the transmis- 
sion system induced a potential on the 
telephone line of approximately 7000 
volts, measured between telephone line 
and earth. Notwithstanding this 
high-induced voltage on the telephone 
line, it was possible to use the 
telephone when the transformer was 
installed. The line was somewhat 
noisier than under normal conditions, 
but not so noisy as to prevent compre- 
hensive conversation. 

The Executive Committee of the 
Museum of Safety and Sanitation, of 
29 Wesf Thirty-ninth Street, N. Y., 
has detailed Dr. Wm. H. Tolman, the 
Director, for field-work, and he will 
start May 1 on a lecturing tour. 
Chambers of commerce, manufac- 
turers' associations, engineering, in- 
surance and architectural societies, 
railway and other clubs may avail 
themselves of this illustrated exposi- 
tion of devices and methods for re- 
ducing damage suits and preserving 
efficiency for the cost of the lantern 
operator ($10), if not too far removed 
from the itinerary. 



May, 1909 

A New Flat-iron 

A new flat-iron recently brought out 
by the General Electric Company em- 
bodies new features in material, con- 
struction and shape. 

The resistance metal used is named 
"Calorite," and is capable of with- 
standing oxidation to a point several 
hundred degrees hotter than any 
metal previously used in heating de- 
vices, its melting point being 2370 F. 
The resistance of "Calorite" is twice 


that of nickel-silver and 73 times that 
of copper, and it is this high specific 
resistance which enables it to be used 
in a single thin grid-layer, or leaf. In 
the majority of designs the heat must 
either pass through two or more lay- 
ers of heat insulation or radiate 
through an insulating air space. The 
"Calorite" leaf unit has such close 
thermal relation to the working sur- 
face of the iron that it cannot over- 
heat. This construction obviously pre- 
cludes the use of any auxiliary pro- 
tective device to insure the life of the 
heating unit. 

In the new iron the heat is evenly 
distributed over the entire working 
surface. A scorch proof shows that 
this is practically as well as theoretical- 
ly true. The toe, the heel and both 
sides are heated equally, providing for 
efficient ironing in any direction. 


The construction of the iron is very 
simple and rugged. The body is of 
two hard gray cast-iron plates held 
together by two heavy steel bolts. The 
thin-leaf unit is firmly clamped be- 
tween these plates and separated from 
them only by a sheet of clear amber 
mica two thousandths of an inch thick, 
which provides the necessary insula- 

The shell cover, held by one bolt, 
carries a well-made handle riveted to 
it, a continuous air jacket being 
formed between this shell cover and 
the working part of the iron. This in- 
sulating air jacket not only covers the 
top of the iron, but the sides and ends 
as well, and the use of the objectional 
asbestos is eliminated. 

The attachments are of the most ap- 
proved design and are made of un- 
breakable material, the use of porce- 
lain being entirely avoided. The leaf- 
unit flat-iron will be equipped with 
a plain attaching plug, with combina- 
tion indicating switch plug or with 
permanently attached cord, if desired. 

The few parts of the flat-iron 
are readily interchangeable, and the 
iron can be completely taken apart by 
removing three bolts. The new leaf- 
unit iron is available in the five-pound, 
or 450-watt size, and the six-pound, or 
550-watt size. The iron is finished in 
highly polished nickel. 

LigHting' Company Reorganized 

The reorganization of the United 
States Light and Heating Company, 
which owns the Bliss system of elec- 
tric car lighting, the National Battery 
Company of Buffalo and the United 
States Light and Heating Company of 
New Jersey has recently been com- 

The new board of directors consists 
of Edwin Hawley, W. H. Silverthorn, 
President Railway Steel Spring Com- 
pany ; Jules E. French, Chairman 
Board of Directors of the same com- 
pany ; C. A. Starbuck, President New 
York Air Brake Company; W. S. 
Crandell, with Mawley & Davis, bank- 
ers; Theodore P. Shonts, President 
Interborough-Metropolitan Company, 
and Newman Erb, President Wiscon- 
sin Central Railroad Company. 

The officers are : W. H. Silverthorn, 
President ; Jules E. French, First 
Vice-President ; Edwin Hawley, Sec- 
ond Vice-President; C. A. Starbuck, 
Third Vice-President, and W. S. 
Crandell, Secretary and Treasurer. 

News Notes 

The Rockford Edison Company, of 
Rockford, 111., gave a dinner, March 
1 3th, to the electrical contractors, archi- 
tects and members of the press. The 
event was enlivened by the presence of 
J. Robert Crouse, who outlined the 
National Co-operative movement to 
promote the more extensive use of 
electrical service. F. H. Golding is 
manager of the Rockford Edison 

The Northern Engineering Works, 
of Detroit, Mich., are building two 
three-motor, 66-ft. span electric trav- 

eling cranes for export to Japan. 
These cranes, which are for a prom- 
inent steel works, will be equipped 
with the new type "E" trolley. 

Lester G. French, formerly editor 
of Machinery, has been engaged to 
direct the editorial department of the 
American Society of Mechanical En- 

"Permanite" packing, manufac- 
tured by the H. W. Johns-Manville 
Co., of New York, is described in a 
pamphlet recently issued. It is claimed 
that this packing, which has an asbes- 
tos foundation, has the same resil- 
iency and pliability as rubber-sheet 
packings and yet may be used for su- 
perheated and high-pressure steam. 

James Jones, of the Jones Fan & 
Motor Co., of New York, died recent- 
ly of pneumonia. He was for 25 years 
the factory partner of Pierce & Jones, 
manufacturers of electrical instru- 
ments, and later with his son formed 
the firm of J. Jones & Son, manufac- 
turers of general electrical supplies. 

A new bulletin recently issued by 
the Bristol Company, of Waterbury, 
Conn., describes a number of record- 
ing instruments especially adapted for 
blast furnaces, including recording 
pressure gauges, recording thermom- 
eters, electric time recorders and in- 
dicating and recording electric pyrom- 
eters. The text explains fully how 
these may be applied. 

Among the orders just booked by 
the Allis-Chalmers Co. are those for 
three gas engines, aggregating 1000 
h.p., direct connected to three Allis- 
Chalmers electric generators, for the 
Palmetto Phosphate Co., of Tiger Bay, 
Fla. ; a gas engine of approximately 
the same size, with generator, for the 
Armstrong Cork Co.'s plant at Cam- 
den, N. J. ; a 1500-kw. gas-driven elec- 
tric unit and seven standard 30,000 
cu.ft. gas-driven blowing engines for 
various blast-furnace plants. During 
the past 90 days the company has ta- 
ken contracts for more than 30 steam 
turbines and generators, aggregating 
in capacity nearly 50,000 kw., and ne- 
gotiations are now pending for more 
than double that number. Among the 
orders recently placed is one for a 
unit of 200-kw. for the Public Service 
Corporation of New Jersey, to be in- 
stalled at Camden ; another of 2000- 
kw. purchased by the Stone & Web- 
ster Engineering Corporation for the 
El Paso Electric Ry. Co., El Paso, 
Tex., and a 2000-kw. machine to be 
placed on a "repeat" order in the Pub- 
lic Service station of the City of Co- 
lumbus, Ohio. 


Volume XL. Number 6. 

1.00 a year; 15 cents a copy. 

New York, June, 1 909 

The Electrical Age Co. 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH, Pres. C. A. HOPE. Sec. and Treas. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connecting all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, $1.00. 

Canada, ''SI. 50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


Insertion of new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the following issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 


Current Limiting Reactance Coils 125 

A Boiler Wreck 127 

Underground Transmission l . . 127 

National Electric Light Association 127 

The Low Pressure Turbine 127 

The Production of Mica in the United States 
ic 1908 128 

Production of Copper in 1908 128 

Refined Copper 128 

The Use of Reactance Coils in Generating 
Stations 129 

Practical. Design of Reactance Coils for 
Turbo-Generators 130 

The Difficulties of Underground Transmis- 
sion for Trunk Line Electrification 133 

Low Pressure Steam Turbines 134 

Electrostatic Instruments 142 

The Regenerative Flame Lamp 146 

The Practical Aspects of Recent Improve- 
ments in Transformers 151 

Current Limiting Reactance Coils 

The paper by P. Junkersfeld at the 
recent convention of the N. E. L. A. 
on "The Use of Reactance Coils in 
Generating Stations," following close- 
ly on the experiences of the New Ha- 
ven system as described in B. G. 
Lamme's discussion to Murray's pa- 
per before the A. I. E. E. last Decem- 
ber, in which the enormous short- 
circuit currents of the turbo-gener- 
ators in the power house at Cos Cob 
caused destruction of oil circuit- 
breakers and damage to armature 
windings, bring prominently to the 
front the question of the availability 
as a protective means of reactance 

coils in the leads of such generators. 

Such coils are intended specifically 
for current limiting purposes and are 
entirely distinct from the lightning 
arrester choke coils frequently used 
in the same location. 

The specific difficulty which the 
limiting coils are intended to elimi- 
nate is the mechanical bending of the 
armature conductors with the conse- 
quent insulation breakdowns, short 
circuits and general damage. The ef- 
fectiveness of oil circuit-breakers is 
very severely strained at the same 

Broadly speaking the action is as 
follows : A generator in operation 
consists of a magnetized field pole 
across the face of which is driven a 
series of armature coils, partially em- 
bedded in the iron of the core and 
partly unsupported at the ends. 
E.m.f. is generated in these coils and 
current flows therein. As a result of 
this current the armature coils feel 
a mechanical or magnetic torque, due 
to the field magnetism which is exer- 
cised largely within the iron as this 
is where the major portion of the 
magnetism is. This torque is direct- 
ly proportional to the current and to 
the magnetic strength. But there is 
some stray field outside the iron so 
that there will be some strain pro- 
duced on these end portions of the 
coils. Although this latter strain is 
much less than the strain in the slots, 
yet the fact that the coils are nearly 
unsupported relatively, outside the 
iron makes the resultant condition 
there more dangerous. 

Again current flowing in any coil 
causes magnetic or mechanical strains 
independent of the proximity of any 
field coil. The well-known law gov- 
erning this case is that any coil will 
tend to move, that is, to deform itself, 
so as to enclose the greatest number 
of lines of force. Therefore a square 
corner will try to become round and 
all parallel turns carrying current in 
the same direction will crowd to- 
gether. In this case the strain is pro- 
portional to the square of the cur- 
rent, for the current in any one wire 
of the coil lies in the field produced 
by the other turns nearby and so has 
a tendency to move in virtue of its 
presence in this field. Since any in- 
crease of the current in the coil will 
increase both the field in which the 
wire lies and the current in the wire 

itself, the magnetic force will be in- 
creased as the square. 

Still another strain will be pro- 
duced by currents in the armature 
coils where two coils lie adjacent or 
overlap as they do in an armature on 
the ends. Thus it is clear that ex- 
cessive current in the armature will 
cause magnetic and mechanical 
strains in many directions and that 
their exact or their maximum amount 
or location will be difficult to deter- 
mine and will vary from one case to 

Returning to the revolving arma- 
ture again, it is clear that the current 
therein is determined by the voltage 
generated and the total impedence of 
the circuit, including the impedance 
of the armature winding itself. 

In the so-called slow or standard 
speed types of generators which are 
connected to reciprocating engines or 
water wheels, the impedance of the 
armature itself is sufficient to require 
a voltage of somewhere near one- 
tenth of normal voltage to put nor- 
mal current through it. This value 
of course varies much, but for the 
purposes of illustration ten per cent, 
may be used. 

If now a short circuit occurs at the 
terminals of the generator, and if the 
voltage generated remains the same 
for the instant, the impedance in cir- 
cuit being only the armature impe- 
dance, the current will increase to 
ten times full-load circuit. This in- 
crease in armature current will cause 
an increase in the mechanical strains 
just described greater than normal 
either in direct proportion or as the 
square, according as to which strains 
are under consideration, all as pointed 
out above. This will easily cause 
dangerous mechanical strains in un- 
favorable designs, especially in high 
voltage machines where the armature 
conductors are small and mechanical- 
ly weak. 

But the e.m.f. generated in the ar- 
mature under the short circuit condi- 
tion will not remain at the original 
value but will be reduced by the well- 
known demagnetising action of the 
lagging current in the armature. At 
the instant of the short circuit the ar- 
mature current, on reaching full 
value, opposes the normal field coils 
and the field magnetism starts to col- 
lapse, but the decrease of its mag- 
netism sets up eddy currents wher- 

I2 5 



June, 1909 

ever possible in the core of the field, 
which eddy currents tend to neutralise 
the demagnetizing effect of the arma- 
ture current, for the moment at least. 
But the eddy currents are maintained 
only by the falling of the field mag- 
netism and so the field will soon reach 
its equilibrium, which is much less 
than the normal full load value. The 
net result is that the eddy currents 
delay the falling of the field magnet- 
ism, perhaps only a few cycles. But 
during this brief period most of the 
damage that can be done by the me- 
chanical forces set up by the excessive 
short-circuit current is accomplished 
and the field reaction is thus too slow 
to protect the winding from this par- 
ticular danger. It will, of course, 
protect it against any heating effects, 
except such as will properly be caused 
by the normal permanent short-circuit 

In the type of machine just as- 
sumed, in the final state it may be ex- 
pected that the field magnetism 
strength and consequently the e.m.f. 
generated will drop to about 30% of 
the normal value and that this 30% 
will be absorbed by the impedance of 
the armature itself so that about three 
times full-load current will flow. 

The effect of dampers on the poles 
of the field magnets, such as are used 
to prevent hunting, will be to increase 
the eddy currents greatly, and so in- 
crease the time taken for the field 
magnetism to die down from full-load 
voltage to the 30%, or short-circuit 
value, thus giving the excessive me- 
chanical strains time to accomplish 
all the harm of which they are ca- 

Up to the advent of the steam tur- 
bo-generator such was the condition 
of affairs. In a number of instances, 
great damage had been done to gen- 
erator windings by excessive short 
circuit but by greatly strengthening 
the windings themselves mechanical- 
ly, it was concluded that the danger 
of serious damage was removed. 
However, in cases where there were 
several large generators operating in 
parallel, the severity of the mechan- 
ical strains manifested in one of the 
machines which might develop a 
short circuit seemed nearly irresistible 
by any feasible construction. This 
was one reason for the use of a re- 
sistance in the grounded neutral. 

With the introduction of large tur- 
bo-generators the condition is almost 
uncontrollable on account of the great 
natural increase in the magnitude of 
the short-circuit currents of these ma- 
chines in the largest capacities. If 
the speed of a given generator is 
doubled the voltage and consequently 

the capacity with the same armature 
current is doubled. The armature im- 
pedance however remains the same, 
so that the short-circuit current is 
doubled with all the consequent in- 
crease in mechanical strains. This il- 
lustrates why the very high speed 
turbo-generators are in a special 
class in considering this matter. Of 
course the design of the high-speed 
machine is modified in many particu- 
lars from the moderate speed machine 
and the increase in speed is not the 
only change made but the net result 
is that the turbo-generator has a very 
much higher short-circuit current 
than the slower speed machine. In 
some other ways as well it is at a dis- 
advantage for the greater distance be- 
tween poles tends to keep down the 
armature impedance and also to make 
it more difficult mechanically to sup- 
port the longer end connections. 

Another factor of importance in 
determining the severity of short cir- 
cuits is the frequency of the gener- 
ator. A 60-cycle machine is much 
less likely to trouble, on account of 
its greater armature impedance, than 
a 25-cycle machine. 

Single-phase machines are in some 
ways more difficult to protect than 
those of three-phase. 

It is this situation, minimized as far 
as possible by the manufacturing 
companies, that has brought forward 
the use of current limiting reactances. 
This remedy was adopted at the Cos 
Cob power house of the New Haven, 
as has been very carefully explained 
by Lamme in his admirable discussion 
to Murray's paper above referred to. 
This is probably the most severe case 
that has ever arisen and is not likely 
to be seen again in view of the knowl- 
edge there acquired. But this is a 
serious matter in other places and if 
the limiting inductance is a satisfac- 
tory remedy it is very likely to be 
frequently used. 

Its action is clear enough, for the 
permanent including of the additional 
inductance in the leads of the gener- 
ator has the effect of the greater ar- 
mature impedance of the older type 
machines and limits the short-circuit 
current, not especially the ultimate 
permanent short-circuit current, but 
the instantaneous excessive short-cir- 
cuit current which is the cause of 
most of the mechanical trouble. 

But the limiting coil has many dis- 

I. It permanently affects the reg- 
ulation of the generator, for it is al- 
ways in circuit and must absorb volt- 
age. Junkersfeld gives the estimated 
value of 2% as the increased drop 
due to the limiting coil, presumably 
figured for a particular case. This is 
not as important as it might seem, for 
Siich large machines as would require 

coils would have automatic regulators 
or would be called on only for such 
slow changes of voltage that the field 
could easily be changed by hand to 
meet the conditions. The fact, how- 
ever, that the output of the generator 
would be reduced nearly in this pro- 
portion (2%), is a much more serious 

II. It reduces the efficiency of the 
combination, estimated by Junkers- 
feld at one-half to one per cent. 

III. The size and cost of the coils 
is astonishing, until it is remembered 
the full-load output of the whole gen- 
erator for a short time. Junkersfeld 
again estimates for a 10,000 kw. gen- 
erator three coils each occupying a 
cubic space five foot on a side. 

Iron cannot be used to great ad- 
vantage in these coils for its perme- 
ability will so increase on the normal 
load condition over the much more 
nearly saturated short-circuit condi- 
tion that the drop at normal currents 
would be greatly increased. This 
again increases the size and cost of 
these coils. 

Again as Junkersfeld properly says, 
the limiting coils must be built very 
ruggedly indeed, for on account of 
the great concentration of turns the 
magnetic forces will be tremendous. 

IV. If these coils are to be relied 
upon to serve also as protection 
against static disturbances, to which 
they will normally be exposed in any 
case, they must be highly insulated, 
still further increasing their expense. 
It is of course true that with every 
short circuit there is a static surge, 
preceding the normal excessive cur- 
rent rush, due to the electrostatic ca- 
pacity of the windings, but while this 
is a threat of puncture to the insula- 
tion of the end turns, it is not serious 
in its mechanical effects. 

V. If the short circuit occurs with- 
in the winding of the armature no ex- 
ternal coil will limit the flow of cur- 
rent, and even if placed in the neu- 
tral connection it would be of no great 
avail against local mechanical injury. 

All things considered it would seem 
that these coils should be avoided 
wherever posible; and as far as feas- 
ible the internal design of the gen- 
erators should be such as to limit the 
natural short-circuit current of the 
machine, especially if in so doing any 
gain of efficiency or cost can be ob- 
tained. This whole matter, however, 
is now in a formative stage and no 
one can yet foresee the final outcome. 
Special cases are being worked out 
but until these coils have had a more 
extended use and until new machines 
have been designed in the light of 
present knowledge and are tried out, 
it will be impossible to say how ex- 
tensively, if at all, these limiting re- 
actance coils will be used. 

June, 1909 



The damage is 

A Boiler Wreck 

On Tuesday evening, 6:15 p. m., at 
Denver, Colo., a vertical 400-h.p. 
Wickes steam boiler exploded in the 
main power station of the Denver 
Gas & Electric Co., at Sixth and Law- 
rence Streets. Three men were killed 
outright and five were badly injured. 

The entire boiler shell, weighing 
about 35 tons was thrown almost 
vertically through the roof to a length 
estimated by various observers at 
from 300 to 500 ft. and then fell back 
upon the station, crashing through 
two floors of the building and falling 
on a 600-kw. belted alternator, de- 
stroying it and a similar 500-kw. ma- 
chine alongside, and partially wreck- 
ing the switchboard, 
estimated at $75,000, 

Denver was without light that 
night, but all those dependent for 
power and lighting on the local com- 
pany were supplied in full the next 
day. In 24 hours service was com- 
pletely restored. 

It is well known when a vertical 
type of boiler is forced far above its 
rating — and this is not unusual at 
peak load — that there is a very con- 
siderable vibration, owing to the rapid 
circulation of water and violent gen- 
eration of steam. Under such a vi- 
brating strain the tubes, which are un- 
der considerable strain in ordinary op- 
eration, have been known to let go. 
We shall not, however, speculate as to 
the cause of the wreck until we have 
fuller information at hand. 

Underground Transmission 

Except in very special cases, trunk- 
line electrification must be accom- 
plished by aerial transmission of cur- 
rent, or not at all, is the conclusion of 
a very able presentation of the ad- 
vantages and disadvantages of under- 
ground transmission by William A. 
Del Mar in an article appearing at 
another page. Even were it possible 
to build railroad duct lines at the 
same cost as street duct lines, the 
volume of business per duct-foot on 
a railroad is so much less than in the 
case of an urban railway or lighting 
system, that the use of duct lines 
would be unsound engineering. As 
the matter stands, with duct lines 
costing from fifty cents to five dol- 
lars per duct-foot, the case in favor 
of aerial transmission is very strong. 

A book by Henry Floy has recently 
appeared wherein the advantages of 
underground transmission and meth- 
ods of constructing insulated cables 
for this purpose are set forth at great 
length. In his preface Mr. Floy says 
he realizes "the general lack of in- 
formation with reference to the 
possibilities and advantages of sub- 

surface electric transmission." This 
undoubtedly is true, but not in the 
sense intended by Mr. Floy. 

As subsequently elucidated in the 
text of this work, it appears that the 
author confines his discussion of sub- 
surface transmission to cables only, 
whose manufacture and performance 
up to 25,000 volts are fairly well 
understood. The dubious part of the 
whole subject is the construction and 
maintenance of the duct system under 
varying weather conditions and work- 
ing under operating conditions differ- 
ent from the city duct work of central 

National Electric Lig'Ht 

In a year of unprecedented growth, 
it was natural to expect that the Na- 
tional Electric Light Association 
would have an unusual convention. 
It was a record-breaker in point of 
attendance, number of exhibitors, 
number of papers presented, and last- 
ly, was favored by unusually fine 
weather. President Eglin is to be 
congratulated in closing with great 
eclat the most splendid year of the 
Association's work. 

In going over a list of 60 odd 
papers, we find some good ones, and 
a few bad ones that ought not to have 
been presented. 

"The Manufacture of Incandes- 
cent lamps," by S. E. Doane, et. al., 
is a joke. With the utmost care this 
paper details the rudimentary manu- 
facture of carbon lamps and ostenta- 
tiously states that "a large percentage 
of the various operations apply to all 
of the four types of lamps," mention- 
ing carbon, metallized, tantalum and 
tungsten. Everybody knows the ele- 
mentary steps of carbon-lamp making. 
What everybody wants to know is 
how tungsten lamps are made. We 
may possibly tell all about it in a 
later issue. 

"The Grounding of Secondaries" 
will go over another year because the 
committee's recommendation not to 
ground over 150 volts was rejected on 
vote. Why the committee felt itself 
not bound to discuss the recommenda- 
tion of the A. I. E. E. to ground up 
to 250 volts from neutral to outside 
is exceedingly difficult to say. We 
hope it will not require three more 
years to settle this tedious but im- 
portant question. 

"It is to be hoped that the commit- 
tee will provide a kilowatt rating at 
some power-factor common in indus- 
trial work," was the significant wish 
expressed editorially in The Elec- 
trical Age over a year ago, and now, 
in a measure, fulfilled by the splendid 
presentation of reasons for such a 
specification in W. L. Water's paper 
on "Performance Specifications and 

Ratings." As is pointed out by the 
author, a machine designed for a 
lighting load of 100 per cent, power- 
factor usually has a relatively satu- 
rated field which cannot hold up volt- 
age on a low power-factor. If such 
a machine were designed for normal- 
load at, say, 80 per cent, power-factor.. 
it would be larger (and cost more) 
and have an unsaturated field. 

The report of the gas-engine com- 
mittee was probably intended for the 
instruction of those not familiar with 
the subject, and is, therefore, disap- 
pointing to one who expects to find 
engineering data worthy of the atten- 
tion of a national society. 

For the most, part the meter report 
is of that elementary character which 
will be welcomed in the small central 
station. It is the best text-book on 
the subject that we know of. A study 
of the questions answered for the 
committee by 161 companies shows 
that meter practice is not anywhere 
near uniform and that there is wide 
divergence of opinion as to important 
phases of it. The data are not worth 
much, except as they shozv this con- ' 

The discussion of the low-pressure 
turbine was chiefly marked by its 

The report of the lightning protection 
committee contained nothing new, ex- 
cept to recommend thorough inspec- 
tion of the protective outfit. Most of 
the recommendations may be found 
in preceding reports of this commit- 
tee and of the A. I. E. E. Proceedings. 
One of the larger companies found 
the damage to transformers by light- 
ning to be less than the fixed charges 
on its lightning-arrester investment. 
The more important technical papers 
appear in this issue elsewhere. 

The Low Pressure Turbine 

In last month's issue we pointed out 
the theoretical considerations which 
govern the yoking of a low-pressure 
turbine to an engine yielding a con- 
stant supply of steam. 

In case the engine yields an inter- 
mittent supply of steam it is necessary 
to provide some means of equalizing 
the flow or to pass a steady supply 
of steam direct from the boiler. 

In the latter case, it becomes neces- 
sary to use a reducing valve to bring- 
the pressure of the steam down some- 
where near the range of pressures for 
which the turbine is designed. It is 
usual to admit live steam in this way 
at a reduced pressure of about 20 or 
25 lb. during the time that the ma- 
chine is cut off from its supply of ex- 
haust steam. 

For the regulation of an inter- 
mittent supply of steam, such as comes 



June, 1909 

from a rolling-mill engine, steam ham- 
mer or hoist engine, it becomes neces- 
sary to use what is called a steam 
regenerator or accumulator. 

The accumulator is really a large 
body of hot water which absorbs the 
intermittent heat from the engine's 
irregular exhaust, passing it over in 
a steady flow to the low-pressure 
turbine. In actuality, it consists of a 
very large cylindrical boiler shell, 
horizontally divided into two parts, 
each containing a like number of 
perforated, elliptical tubes in commu- 
nication with the exhaust pipe of the 
engine. The exhaust steam enters the 
accumulator below the surface of the 

The continual operation of the 
turbine passes the vacuum of its con- 
denser on to the accumulator, so to 
speak, and reduces the pressure in the 
accumulator ; with the result that a 
continual vaporization of water occurs 
in accordance with the well-known 
law of physics that the boiling-point, 
or temperature of vaporization, lowers 
with a decreasing pressure. 

The accumulator for a 500-kw. tur- 
bine will be about 1 1 ft. in diameter 
by 30 ft. in length to supply regen- 
erated steam for seven minutes after 
the stoppage of the exhaust steam. 
Obviously it is the cycle of intermit- 
tent exhaust which determines the pos- 
sible size of the accumulator. It is 
equally obvious that there is a limit 
in size beyond which it is not economi- 
cal to go, and the limit is not big. 
Not big enough to allow for the in- 
tervals of 20 and 30 minutes which 
frequently occur in rolling-mill work. 

Consequently, it becomes necessary 
to provide another supply of steam if 
the low-pressure turbine is to be kept 
in continual operation. This necessity 
has given rise to what is now known 
as the mixed-flow turbine, which is 
a combination of low-pressure turbine 
and a high-pressure turbine, the whole 
forming a compact unit. The actual 
machine contains two sets of turbine 
wheels, one designed for high-pres- 
sure steam and another set designed 
for low-pressure steam, mounted on a 
common shaft in a single shell. The 
machine operates on either high-pres- 
sure or low-pressure steam, or simul- 
taneous supply of both. 

As an indication of the fuel econo- 
my introduced in manufactories em- 
ploying non-condensing engines, we 
cite the installation by Messrs. Battu 
and Smoot at the International Har- 
vester Company's works of a low- 
pressure turbine fed from a 42 by 60 
rolling-mill engine consuming on the 
average 52,400 lb. of steam per hour, 

with an average of 64 lb. per indicated 
horse-power. The exhaust from this 
engine would generate 15 10 h.p. at the 
switchboard and show on the same 
boiler plant a total of 2320 h.p. de- 
livered for 52,400 lb. of steam or a 
steam rate of 22.5 lb. 

The saving per year figures out 
$67,500 if we credit the fuel cost of 
turbine power to the fuel account of 
the mill, or, in other words, the in- 
stallation of a low-pressure unit under 
such conditions pays for itself in less 
than a year. 

It is surprising, therefore, in view of 
this acknowledged fact, that there is 
not a wider use of these machines in 
the States. In Europe they can be 
found in every country in mines, col- 
lieries and steel mills, driving electric 
generators, fans and pressure blowers. 
More than two hundred machines, 
chiefly of the Rateau type, are in op- 
eration, aggregating a round half-mil- 
lion kilowatts. 

In this country the low-pressure 
turbine was introduced by the Ameri- 
can Rateau Steam Regenerator Co., 
which was organized after the Ameri- 
can patent rights were turned down 
by the Western Electric Co., which 
company had made a full investigation 
of the Rateau type of machines. The 
first machine, however, was built in 
the shops of the Western Electric Co. 
under contract to the American 
Rateau Co., which later became in- 
debted to the Western Electric Co. 
Seeing that the machine was all that 
was claimed for it, the Western Elec- 
tric Co. foreclosed on the old Rateau 
Company, thus obtaining the right to 
manufacture that type of machine un- 
der all Rateau patents granted up un- 
til the year 1907. Recent regenera- 
tor patents and mixed-flow turbine 
patents of Rateau are, however, not 
controlled by them. 

During the last few years both the 
Westinghouse and General Electric 
companies have built successful tur- 
bines for this class of work, of both 
the low-pressure and mixed-flow type, 
aggregating perhaps 100,000 kw.. The 
Western Electric Co. has built in two 
years two machines of 500 kw. each. 
Just why the Rateau type manufac- 
tured by them should not be popu- 
lar is rather hard to understand, as 
it is identical with the early types of 
machines built in Europe. 

according to statistics compiled by the 
United States Geological Survey, 
amounted to $267,925. The pro- 
duction of sheet mica amounted to 
972,964 lb., valued at $234,021, a de- 
crease of 87,218 lb. and $115,290 
from 1907. The production of scrap 
mica amounted to 2,417 short tons, 
valued at $33,904, a decrease of 608 
tons and $8,896. The value of the 
imports into the United States fell 
from $925,259 in 1907 to $266,058 in 
1908, or slightly less than the do- 
mestic production. 

Production of Copper in 1908 

The production of copper in the 
United States in 1908 was 942,570,- 
721 lb. This is the largest pro- 
duction ever made, exceeding that of 

1906 by 24,765,039 lb. and that of 

1907 by 73,374,230 lb., or 8.4 per cent. 


[Smelter output, in pounds fine.] 



























New Mexico 

North Carolina 

544,040 i 14,342 

518,694 ! 271,191 














Maryland, Alabama, and 

South Carolina, b Texas, b 
Missouri and unappo - 

\ 45,537 



a Georgia did not produce in 1908. 

b Not reported in 1907. 

c A portion of this total was reported by one com- 
pany as electrolytic instead of blister copper. To 
compensate for the loss in refining there is added 
• pro rata to the States concerned the approximate 
copper content of the bluestone recovered in the 
production of the electrolytic copper. 

The Production of Mica in the 
United States in 1908 

The total value of the mica pro- 
duced in the United States in 1908, 

Refined Copper 

The production of refined new cop- 
per of domestic origin in 1908 was 
875,849,129 lbs., an increase of 11.6 
per cent, over the production of 1907. 
The total output of refined copper 
(exclusive of domestic scrap, etc.) by 
aomestic refineries in 1908 was 1,- 
094,700,123 lbs. The apparent con- 
sumption of refined new copper in the 
United States in 1908 was about 480,- 
000,000 lbs. 

Use of Reactance 


in Generating Stations 


The subject of protective devices 
for the transmission system and for 
the translating apparatus in substa- 
tions has been pretty thoroughly 
worked out and the results are appar- 
ently quite satisfactory. We feel 
reasonably certain that the protection 
of that part of the system is well in 
hand. With the generator itself, 
however, the condition is not so re- 
assuring. A few breakdowns within 
or close to the generators in some of 
the larger stations have resulted at 
times in such severe destruction to the 
generator that the advisability of us- 
ing reactance coils in this connection 
is receiving serious consideration. 

That such coils of proper design 
will offer at least partial protection is, 
of course, recognized, but their adop- 
tion in large installations is slow be- 
cause of a natural prejudice against 
adding any so-called contraptions, at 
least before their satisfactory opera- 
tion has been proven.* 

The condition which gives rise to 
the demand for reactance coils is, as 
is well known, the very excessive in- 
stantaneous short-circuit current of 
these high-speed, low-frequency, 
high-voltage turbo-generators. In 
such generators, with their relatively 
large pole pitch and consequent low 
self-induction, this instantaneous 
short-circuit current may be as high 
as fifty times full-load current with a 
power factor possibly over 50 per 
cent. There may, therefore, be an 
enormous transfer of energy. It is 
several seconds before this current 
has died down to the sustained short- 
circuit current of about three times 
full-load amperes. A reactance to 
limit this instantaneous short-circuit 
current to about ten times full-load 
current would so reduce its power fac- 
tor, and therefore the energy, that the 
effect would be comparatively harm- 
less. The injurious strains on the arma- 
ture conductors, and especially on the 
end turns, would also be reduced to a 
comparatively safe intensity. Inci- 
dentally, such coils will tend to lessen 
somewhat the shock on a generator 
when it is poorly synchronized, but 
this advantage has not sufficient 
weight to be a factor in the question. 

The introduction of such coils in 
existing installations is no easy mat- 
ter, and this is, perhaps, another 

reason for the hesitancy in their in- 
stallation. For a generator of about 
10,000-kw. capacity each of the three 
coils (in a three-phase machine) 
would require a cubical space of ap- 
proximately five feet per side for 
proper clearance, or, roughly, 125 
cu. ft. With a generating voltage of 
approximately 10,000, each coil would 
have no to 150 turns. It could be of 
insulated cable, if properly ventilated, 
or of bare cable wound on porcelain 
insulators. In either case the core of 
the coil would probably be of con- 
crete. The coils must be very rigidly 
anchored, as they will be subjected to 
severe strains when large currents 
flow through them. 

The object of the coils is, of course, 
to increase the reactance of the gen- 
erator circuit and thus reduce the in- 
stantaneous short-circuit current. This 
would be acomplished by connecting 
them either in the phase leads, as in 
Fig. 1, or in the neutral ends of the 
armature winding, as in Fig. 2. In 
the phase connection the insulation of 
the coils must withstand at least 
double normal potential, but the gen- 
erator is also protected against high- 
frequency surges which may come in 
over the bus bars. Should a break- 
down occur within the armature or 
in the conductors between the arma- 
ture and the coils, in this phase con- 
nection the coils would not reduce the 
current from the generator itself but 
would offer protection against exces- 
sive current into the fault from other 
generators that may be operating in 
parallel at the time. If connected on 
the neutral side, which is, of course, 


* N. E. L. A., 1909. 

Fig. 1 

possible only in Y-wound generators, 
protection against its own excessive 
current is afforded for breakdown 
within the armature. Where the 
neutral is grounded without resist- 
ance the insulation need be only suf- 
ficient for the reactive electromotive 

force across the coils. If the neutral 
is grounded through resistance the 
rise of potential above ground may 
be several thousand volts at the coils, 
depending on the value of the resist- 
ance. It is possible that the installa- 
tion of reactance coils will render 
neutral resistances unnecessary. 
Where the neutral is not grounded 
the insulation of the coils must still be 
fairly high even if connected as in 
Fig. 2. 

If the neutral connection is used 
with existing generators it will be 
necessary to make some structural 
changes, as in these generators the 
neutral ends of the armature coils are 
joined within the armature frame. 
All three of the neutral conductors 
must be brought out, and this will re- 
quire more or less changing in the ar- 
rangement of outer conductors. 

The loss in efficiency due to these 
reactance coils need not be high; in 
fact, it could be well below one or 
even one-half of one per cent, and the 
regulation drop would not be seriously 
increased — perhaps two per cent. If 
the coils could be readily installed and 
if they introduce no weakness them- 
selves this small sacrifice of efficiency 
and regulation should not stand in the 
way of their adoption. 

The protection of a damaged gen- 
erator against the influx of excessive 
current from without naturally sug- 
gests the installation of suitable coils 
in the bus bars so as to sectionalize 
the through buses. Such coils could 
be normally short-circuited by means 
of an automatic switch that will open 
when an excessive current flows, pro- 
vided such a switch could be made to 
open quickly enough. The imped- 
ance of such coils could have a value 
to limit the current through them to, 
say, the full-load current of one gen- 
erator ; but this is a matter to be de- 
termined best for each system. In 
fact, the entire question of reactance 
coils, whether to use or not to use 
them, especially in the smaller sta- 
tions, is a matter to be determined by 
local conditions. Ordinarily, such 
coils should not be adopted unless 
their need is apparent, as they are a 
step away from simplicity. In large 
power, low-frequency and high-speed 
generators (water or steam-turbine 
driven) they are probably advisable, 
but 60-cycle generators unless of very 
high speed (over 1200 r.p.m.) have 



June, 1909 

sufficient self-induction in the arma- 
ture winding without them, as have 
also engine-driven generators of 25 
cycles. Reactance coils have been in- 
stalled on the generator leads of the 
3750-kw. and 6000-kw. turbine-driven 
units of the New York, New Haven 
and Hartford Railroad in the station 
at Cos Cob with apparently satisfac- 
tory results.- A trial installation is 
also under way in Baltimore and an- 
other on one unit in Chicago. 

Some engineers, notably the Ger- 





Fir. 2 

mans, use reactance coils at the sta- 
tion end of transmission cables. Such 
use on transmission lines has long 
been common practice in connection 
with lightning arresters on overhead 
lines, but on underground cables the 
fear of resonance has prevented their 
general adoption. 

This subject has arisen as a result 
of development. In the earlier years 
builders of electric generators desired 
prime movers of higher speeds in or- 
der to reduce cost of their generators. 
With many of the latest prime mov- 
ers (steam turbines) the speeds have 
been increased to a point where in the 
present state of the art 'the generators 
suffer in reliability. In other words, 
it seems that if we desire the best 
steam economy in the turbine we 
must accept some sacrifice in the re- 
liability of the generators. This sac- 
rifice can be reduced by the installa- 
tion of reactance coils, but as this 
course is in some respects a step back- 
ward, even though at present a pos- 
sible necessity, it should receive seri- 
ous consideration. 

Practical Design of Reactance Coils for 



The purpose of this paper is to give 
other companies the information 
which the Baltimore company has ob- 
tained in designing, testing and oper- 
ing reactance coils for a 5000-kw., 
1 3,000- volt, 25-cycle, 4-pole General 
Electric 750-r.p.m. turbo-generator. 
These coils were designed in the fall 
of 1908 and placed in operation De- 
cember 31, of that year.* 

Type of Coil: 

In designing reactance coils for 
turbo-generators it is imperative that 
large cooling surface should be ob- 
tained. Two general types of coil are 
feasible : flat or pancake coils, with 
cooling spaces for air or oil between 
the coils, and solenoids, with cooling 
spaces between the concentric layers. 


Either oil-cooled or air-cooled coils 
may be constructed, but when the 
coils are installed on the neutral ends 
of generator windings, and especially 
when the neutral is grounded, the 
coils require only a small amount of 
insulation and may be readily made 
air-cooled without air blast. For coils 
on the outside windings of high-volt- 
age generators, oil-insulated construc- 
tion would possibly be better. 

* N. E. L. A. 

Iron Cores: 

If iron cores were used in building 
reactance coils for turbo-generators, 
sufficient iron would have to be em- 
ployed to insure that the flux did not 
pass the saturation point under short- 
circuit conditions, because if the iron 
was saturated, or oversaturated, the 
choking effect of the coils would be 
limited at the very time it was re- 
quired. Air coils have no core loss ; 
their copper loss with the same cur- 
rent density would be greater than in 
coils with iron cores, because of the 
greater length of conductor required. 
The copper loss in a coil can of course 
be reduced at will by using larger 
cross-section of copper. It is doubt- 
ful to my mind whether coils with 
iron cores will prove practical ; this 
is an interesting question for discus- 

Shape of Coil: 

The greatest amount of reactance 
for a given amount of material in a 
coil without iron is obtained by ar- 
ranging conductors so that their cross- 
section will be circular, as this makes 
the field from each turn cut the max- 
imum numbers of turns. These pro- 
portions are objectionable in practical 
design for mechanical reasons, but an 
approximation is obtained in a coil 
where the section of conductors is 
rectangular and approaches a square. 

This design is much more economical 
of material than a long coil of a few 

The reactance coils for the Balti- 
more turbo-generator were made in 
the solenoid form, air-cooled, with 
ventilating spaces between each layer 
of cable, as shown in Fig. 1. 
Calculation of Coils: 

To determine the number of turns, 
Mr. E. J. Berg's formula for a coil 
whose reactance would be 6 per cent, 
of the total impedance of the gener- 
ator was used. 

T = no 

where T 

: number of turns, E = 
volts, I = full-load am- 
peres, d = mean diameter of coil in 
inches. This formula becomes for 
this case 

T = no 



141 turns. 

222 X 36 
The coils were built with 144 turns 
each, and the reactance by test was 
found to be 6.9 per cent. The coil 
had a cross-section of conductor much 
more nearly square than covered by 
the formula, and the test would indi- 
cate that the constant for this shape 
of coil should be 90 instead of no. ■ 

Core Construction: 

Concrete cores were cast in the 
form of a hollow cylinder, with 
grooves provided for wooden cleats 
on the outside of the cylinder. No 
iron was used for reinforcement. 
Subsequent tests proved that iron 
would be decidedly objectionable, and 
that brass would not be objectionable 
provided that no closed metallic cir- 
cuits were made in which current 
could circulate. The form for casting 
the cores was made of sheet iron and 
wood : the wood being soaked in 
water, previous to filling the mold, to 
prevent cracking of the concrete by 
the expansion of the wood. After re- 
moving the cores from the mold they 
were kept in wet sand for a week to 
increase their strength. Bolt holes 
were molded in the core at the proper 
points for supporting the windings. 


The cable used for winding these 
coils is 250,000 circular mils stranded 
copper with three-thirty-seconds-inch 
varnished-cambric insulation and 
braid finish, designed for 1000 volts 
working pressure. This size of cable 
for 222 amperes rated load gives a 
current density of 1125 cir. mils per 
ampere. The common cable com- 
pound should not be used in cables for 
reactance coils. In this case the com- 
pound melted out of the braid and 
clogged some of the ventilating 

June, 1909 





Top view 

veoNiaHog Ouct-s 

Fig. I — PLAN 


A few iron bolts were installed to 
determine their heating effect. They 
very quickly became so hot that the 
wooden spacers were set on fire. 
Wooden rods were substituted tem- 
porarily, and brass rods afterward in- 

stalled, as it was found that, with a 
temperature rise of 50 cent, in the 
coil, brass rods had a rise of only 15 
degrees. This is an interesting ob- 
servation, as it was expected that 
eddy currents in brass bolts would 
cause excessive heating. 


During winding, the core was 
mounted on a mandrel between 
horses, the bolts were rigidly secured 
to the core by tightening the nuts on 
the inside and outside of the core, and 
the cable wound on the core in eight 
separate layers of 18 turns to the layer, 
with a space of 0.5-in. between each 
of the concentric layers thus formed. 
These spaces were made by inserting 
hickory strips 3 in. wide and 0.5-in. 
thick at 8 points around the circum- 
ference ; that is, 45 degrees apart. The 
entire coil is bound together by 16 
brass bolts, 8 at the top and 8 at the 
bottom, which pass through all of the 
wooden supports and spacers. After 
completing the coil the nuts on the 
inside of the core were removed, to 
relieve the core of tension and let the 
tension strength of the windings take 
up this strain. The ends of the cable 
in each coil should be securely fast- 
ened, to prevent any slipping of the 
cable when under strain. 


The coils are mounted on concrete 
pedestals, which support the cores. 
The heavy oak sticks on the outside of 
the coils are made of the proper length 
to extend to the floor, and thus sup- 
port the windings on the outside. As 
mounted, the three coils occupy a total 
space of 75 sq. ft. They are mounted 
80 ft. from the generator and close 
to the ground bus to which they con- 
nect, this being the most available 
location. The feasibility of mounting 
the coils one above the other was con- 
sidered in order to reduce floor space 
required. This was not carried out, 
because it was feared that the upper 
coils would become overheated, due 
to receivi" " air already heated from 
the coils below. 

Electrical Location. 

Fig. 2 shows the location of react- 
ance coils in the neutral of the gen- 
erator circuits, and shows the discon- 
necting switches used. This arrange- 
ment of switches enables any coil to 
be disconnected for repairs or in case 
of trouble, without shutting down the 


The spacers above mentioned form 
vertical passages on both sides of 
every layer of cable, giving a chimney 
effect, which produces rapid circula- 
tion of the air. This, or some equallv 
efficient means of cooling, is ab- 
solutely necessary, as the full-load 
temperature rise in the hottest part is 
50 cent. 

Temperature Rise: 

The temperature observations of 
these coils were made at the top of the 
windings, between the outside, middle 
and inner layers, the highest rise be- 
ing found between the middle layers. 



June, 1909 

The temperature rises mentioned are 
the maximum observed. (See Fig. 
3.) We have not had 50 per cent, 
overload on the generator for a suf- 
ficient length of time to get a maxi- 
mum rise on the reactance coils, but 
this service would undoubtedly pro- 
duce a temperature higher than or- 
dinarily used, and it may be found 
advisable under overload conditions to 
cool the coils by air blast. It might 
be advisable in building coils for 
turbo-generator without air blast to 
allow more copper than 1125 cir. mils 
per ampere as in the present case, in 
order to reduce the copper loss, in- 
crease radiating surface, and there- 
fore reduce the temperature rise. 
Losses in Operation: 

The loss during full-load operation, 
as indicated by a wattmeter with cur- 

Generaror Leads 

Turbo - Gcoeraroc 

H^i H 

/ / 

is almost entirely ohmic. There is no 
doubt that some loss occurs in eddy 
currents in conductors, due to the 
very powerful field, but the measure- 
ments were not sufficiently refined to 
state that the indicated difference of 
0.14 kw. per coil is a measure of eddy- 
current loss. The total loss for coils 
with 5 per cent, reactance is 0.156 
per cent, of the generator output, 
which is very much less than the 
amount mentioned by Mr. Junkers- 
feld as permissible. 

The cost of opening the generator 
neutral and taking three cables to the 
terminal block of the generator was 
$134. The cost of labor and mate- 
rial in extending neutral leads 80 feet 
to reactance coils was $93. The total 
cost of three reactance coils, com- 
plete, was, for drawings, $32 ; for 
labor, $182; for material, $1,059; 
making a total of $1,273. The dis- 
connecting switches have not been in- 
stalled as yet, and will be additional to 
the above-mentioned costs. 

The total cost of providing react- 
ance coils is about 3 per cent, of the 
cost of the electric generator, and the 
loss in the coils is about 0.16 per cent. 

Reocrapce Coils 


Fig. 2 

rent and potential transformers, was 
12 kw. per coil of 144 turns, which is 
0.72 per cent, of the power delivered 
by the generator. This loss seemed 
too high for economical operation, and 
the outside layer of 18 turns was re- 
moved from the coil, leaving 126 
turns. The apparent loss by watt- 
meter reading was then 9 kw. To 
check the wattmeter readings, which 
were regarded with suspicion because 
of the extremely low power factor of 
3.15 per cent., direct current was 
passed through the coils and adjusted 
to give a constant temperature rise. 
The volt-amperes or watts then gave 
the actual loss corresponding to the 
given temperature rise. This direct- 
current measurement was repeated 
for several different temperatures and 
the results plotted in a curve (Fig. 3). 
Thermometers were left undisturbed 
and temperature logs taken in reg- 
ular operation. A curve giving the 
relation of load and temperature was 
also plotted, and, when used in con- 
nection with the temperature-loss 
curve, gives the loss for any load. 
This method indicates a loss of only 
2.6 kw. per coil of 126 turns as com- 
pered with the wattmeter reading of 
9 kw., and an ohmic loss of 2.46 kw., 
which shows that the loss in the coils 



















*• / 
3 1 











— uj 




» 20 40 

i 2 

60 80 ICO 120 U 
1 i 1 1 
3 4 5 C K 

f OF F 


> 1 CELL 

strain in a radial direction is resisted 
directly by the tensional strength of 
the conductor without any tendency 
to deform or change the shape of the 
coil. The strength of the conductor 
would doubtless be sufficient under all 
practical conditions to stand this strain 
successfully. It therefore remains in 

- 7520 — 

Fig. 3 

the design of a helical coil of circular 
form to provide sufficient strength in 
the winding supports to take up the 
strain in the axial direction. In the 
Baltimore coils this is provided for by 
heavy oak sticks on the inside and out- 
side of the winding and by hickory 
separators 3 in. by 0.5-in., as before 
described. Brass bolts pass through 
all of these tension pieces, and wedges 
are driven securely between the bolts 
and the upper layer of windings, to 
hold the same rigid. 

By calculation it was found that if 
wooden rods are used the weakest part 
of the construction is the crushing of 
the wooden rods under the hickory 
separators. This strength is 1250 lb. 
per separator. By using brass bolts 
this strength is many times increased, 
and the weakest point is the shear of 
the separators with the grain, which 
amounts to 4000 lb. per separator, or 
96 tons for an entire coil. 
Protection in Case of Short-Circuit: 

From assumed value of generator 
resistance and reactance, it appears 
that the 5 per cent, reactance coils 

would limit the short-circuit current 
of the output. Both of these figures to approximately 13 times full-load 
are so conservative that reactance coils current, and would give a power 
may be considered an economical in- factor for the complete circuit of 13 

surance against damage due to shott- 


Strength to Resist Short-Circuit : 

If a short-circuit should occur on a 
circuit equipped with reactance coils, 
there would be a heavy strain on the 
coil, due to the repulsion of the wind- 
ings. In a circular coil, as dis- 
tinguished from an elliptical coil, the 

per cent. This means that the torque 
on the generator under short-circuit 
conditions would be less than twice 
full-load torque, and therefore safe. 
Data on Reactance Coils: 

The following data are put in tab- 
ulated form for reference and refer to 
the coils after removing one layer, as 
above described : 

Number of turns on each coil 126 

Length of conductor in each coil 1105 

Non-inductive resistance at 40 degrees Centigrade 

Drop across one coil at full load, 222 amperes, 25 cycles 

Impedance full load, 222 amperes, 25 cycles 

Impedance full load, 222 amperes, 25 cycles 

Total loss per coil, full load, 222 amperes, as determined by thermal test 

I2R loss, 222 amperes 

Power factor of reactance coil 

Loss in 3 reactance coils in per cent of generator load 

Short-circuit current in terms of full-load current 

Power factor of generator circuit under short-circuit conditions with reactive coils. . . . 
Short-circuit torque in terms of full-load torque 










per cent 






per cent 


per cent 



per cent 


The Difficulties of Underground Transmission 
for Trunk Line Electrification. 

There exists an impression among 
some engineers, whose experience 
does not cover the field of trunk-line 
electrification, that the most important 
considerations affecting a decision 
upon the relative merits of overhead 
and underground transmission, con- 
cern the cables themselves and that 
the ultimate choice depends upon the 
relative cost and reliability of bare 
and insulated conductors. 

Experience, however, shows that 
the decisive factor is not the type of 
cable, but the type of cable support, 
the real difference between the two 
systems being that in the overhead 
system the cables are supported oc- 
casionally, and where there is plenty 
of room, and that in the underground 
system the cables are supported con- 
tinuously and where the space is re- 

Except for voltages over 25,000, 
there is no doubt whatsoever of the 
practicability of making good insu- 
lated cables, a fact well known to 
those who have followed the progress 
of the cable industry during the last 
decade. Insulated cables, of course, 
are more expensive than bare ones, 
and this undoubtedly influences, to 
some extent, the choice of transmis- 
sion system for railroad electrifica- 
tion, but it is by no means the de- 
ciding factor. 

The deciding factors are the ex- 
cessive difficulties and costs of con- 
structing and operating duct lines 
along railroads. These facts are pre- 
sented below under two headings, 
"Construction Difficulties" and "Op- 
eration Difficulties." After a careful 
consideration of what follows, the 
reader will be led to the conclusion 
that, except under extraordinary con- 
ditions, the policy of trunk-line rail- 
road engineers will be to employ 
aerial transmission wherever possible, 
using underground transmission only 
where local conditions, such as in- 
sufficient clearances, or aesthetic con- 
siderations do not permit the adoption 
of the former system. 

The objections to underground 
transmission are as follows : 


( 1 ) Owing to the right-of-way be- 
ing usually on made ground, exces- 
sive quantities of concrete and rein- 
forcement are required to make a rea- 
sonably strong duct construction. 

(2) Owing to the width of the 
right-of-way being usually very re- 
stricted, it is necessary to shore-up 


tracks in order to excavate close to 

(3) Owing to the vibration caused 
by heavy trains, it is necessary to 
bury the conduits at a great depth, 
first to avoid undue stresses on the 
conduit, and second, to avoid crystal- 
lization of cable sheaths. 

The injurious effects of train vi- 
bration on the cables of the Manhat- 
tan Railway and Toronto Electric 
Light Co. are so well known as to need 
no description. 

In order to have the conduits be- 
low frost level, the depth of ballast 
must be neglected, as it has been 
found that with stone ballast on top 
of the ground, the frost penetrates the 
ground about as far as if the ballast 
were not there, unless the ballast is 
very dirty. 

(4) There is considerable difficulty 
in obtaining net results from labor 
where there are continual inter- 
ruptions by trains. On a busy sec- 
tion a duct construction gang engaged 
for ten hours can possibly work two 
full hours. 

(5) Owing to the right-of-way be- 
ing often quite low and in many 
cases alongside of rivers, duct con- 
struction is likely to be seriously im- 
peded by the flooding of trenches. 

(6) Where the right-of-way shows 
signs of settlement, as, for example, 
on marshy ground, continuous piling 
is necessary to support the ducts. 
This involves the use of the track for 
construction purposes for long peri- 
ods, and thereby not only impedes, 
but also endangers traffic. 

(7) Duct line construction gener- 
ally involves interference with signal 
and interlocking apparatus,, thereby 
introducing danger and expense. 

(8) Bridge abutments, bridges, cul- 
verts and, in fact, all special right-of- 
way construction present complicated 
problems which can be solved only at 
great expense. 


(1) Owing to the right-of-way be- 
ing usually on made ground, duct 
lines settle and crack, injuring the 
cables in them and preventing the re- 
moval and replacement of injured 

(2) Owing to the great depth of 
splicing chambers necessitated by the 
circumstances enumerated above un- 
der (3), they are often full of water 
and cannot be cleared for repairs 
without pumping water out of as 
much of the system as is at the same 
level, a process which may take many 

hours to complete, possibly leaving 
traffic paralyzed during that time. 
Drainage is usually out of the ques- 
tion, owing to the absence of any 
kind of drainage system below the 
surface system. 

(3) The great depth of chambers 
requires the use of long narrow chim- 
neys connecting the chambers to the 
surface of the ground. This makes 
it almost impossible for employees to 
escape from chamber in case of 

The operation of cable splicing in 
underground system is always ac- 
companied by more or less danger. 
There are many cases on record 
where cable breakdowns have taken 
place while men were working in 
splicing chambers, where, on account 
of the confined space, it is practically 
impossible for a man to get out of 
range of the heat of a short circuit. 
Such a case occurred in the conduit 
system of the Long Island Railroad 
at Woodhaven Junction, July 12, 
1906. There were men working in a 
splicing chamber when a great sheet 
of flame shot out of the manhole, and 
three men were seriously burned, one 
being terribly injured. 

The cables were out of use for eigh- 
teen hours on this occasion and much 
of the delay was caused by the ob- 
jection of the men to enter the cham- 

(4) Where improvements are made 
involving the raising of the right-of- 
way, such as, for example, in elimi- 
nating grade crossings, ducts laid 
previous to the improvements become 
so deep that they are practically inac- 
cessible for repairs and splicing cham- 
bers are correspondingly dangerous 
on account of their distance from the 

(5) The existence of water in low 
splicing chambers renders the cables 
particularly liable to electrolytic cor- 
rosion. This is a very serious matter 
where the grounded return is only a 
few feet away, as must inevitably be 
the case on a railroad. Electrolytic 
trouble cannot be reduced by ground- 
ing the cable sheaths to the track 
rails, as where electric signals are 
used, connection to the track rails is 
not allowable. 


Well-constructed aerial lines are 
more reliable than underground lines 
for the following reasons : 

( 1 ) Air and porcelain insulation 
are the most reliable known. Air 

J 33 



June, J909 

automatically repairs itself in case of 
puncture, and porcelain insulators are 
easily replaced, damage to them being 
occasional and local. 

(2) All parts being visible, im- 
pending and existing troubles are 
easily located. 

(3) Repairs are less frequently re- 
quired on aerial than on underground 

(4) Repairs are more easily made. 
This is due to the accessibility of 

the wires and to the absence of re- 
pairs to insulation and sheath as re- 
quired in underground work. The 
fact that there is no pumping of 
water from low splicing chambers 
and less danger in working also 
count strongly in favor of aerial lines. 

(5) Non-spreading of trouble. 
Trouble is almost invariably confined 
to one spot on a single circuit, which 
is quite the reverse to what happens 
in underground systems. 

Mr. H. W. Buck, whose experience 
with transmission lines is very wide, 
said at a recent hearing of the Public 
Service Commission : "I have had 
experience in the operation of both 
types of transmission and should con- 
sider the overhead system as very 
much more reliable for continuous 
service, when well constructed, than 
the underground system." He gave 
as reasons for his view, the higher 
factor of safety of insulation, ease of 
locating breakdowns and the non- 
spreading of trouble. 

Trouble has been experienced on 
some transmission lines from the ef- 
fects of lightning. This experience 
has been due almost invariably to in- 
adequate lightning protection and to 
the use of wooden poles. Improved 
methods of protection are doing much 
to reduce the occasional troubles 
caused by lightning. It is, perhaps, 
treating an important subject rather 
lightly to thus, in a few words, dis- 
pose of lightning as an objection to 
aerial transmission. Considered from 
the broad standpoint, this is not so. 
Lightning is a source of trouble, but 
the trouble is not great enough to 
figure as a factor against overhead 
lines, except under very unusual con- 

Low Pressure Steam 


The first low-pressure turbine to 
run on the exhaust of reciprocating 
engines was designed by Professor 
Rateau in 1901 for installation at the 
Bruay mines in France.* 

In 1902 this plant was put in oper- 
ation and has been running success- 
fully ever since. 

In conjunction with this turbine, 
Professor Rateau installed one of his 
steam regenerators, connected between 
the hoisting engine, which supplied 
steam for the turbine, and the turbine, 
to equalize the flow of steam to the 

The Bruay turbine has an output of 
300 electrical horse power. 

Since this time Professor Rateau 
and his associates have introduced a 
large number of low-pressure tur- 
bines, working both with and without 
steam regenerators, in numerous in- 
dustrial works in Europe. 

At first the most promising applica- 
tion of the low-pressure turbine was 
to use steam from highly inefficient 
non-condensing engines, which were 
found in steel mills and mine hoists. 

After the application of turbines to 
inefficient non-condensing engines had 
been thoroughly developed, its field of 
employment was extended until at the 
present time low-pressure turbines are 
being installed on efficient power-pro- 
ducing engines in railway and light- 
ing plants. 

It is greatly to the credit of Pro- 
fessor Rateau to have been the first to 
thoroughly appreciate the advantage 
of the turbine as a low-pressure en- 

*N. E. L. A. 

gine and to have made practical its 
application to intermittent fluxes of 
steam through his invention of the 
steam regenerator. 

It has now been thoroughly estab- 
lished that the most efficient possible 
steam engine is a compound unit con- 
sisting of a reciprocating engine, act- 
ing between boiler pressure and ap- 
proximately atmospheric pressure, 
exhausting to a low-pressure turbine, 
which in turn discharges to the con- 

Were it not for the fact that high- 
pressure turbines in large sizes are 
vastly cheaper than reciprocating en- 
gines, it would be a safe prediction 
that all future plants would include 
turbines and engines. 

It is still a mooted question, how- 
ever, whether the greater cost of com- 
bined engine and turbine plant over 
that for turbine plant alone is author- 
ized by the increased economy. 

In any event, however, existing 
plants equipped with reciprocating en- 
gines will show improved economy by 
running them non-condensing and in- 
stalling low-pressure turbines. 

The results obtained when low- 
pressure turbines are employed to 
compound reciprocating engines, re- 
placing that portion of the engine 
working between atmosphere and 
vacuum, are very striking. It was not 
until the low-pressure turbine had 
been commercially developed that en- 
gineers fully realized the significance 
of the fact that the available energy 
per pound of steam between 150 lb. 
boiler pressure and 28 in. of vacuum 

was cut practically in halves by the 
line of atmospheric pressure. 

This fact appears almost like a dis- 
covery, because reciprocating engines 
have heretofore been wholly incapable 
of utilizing efficiently the energy be- 
low the atmospheric line. To obtain 
the expansion in an engine which can 
be readily reached in the turbine would 
require an enormous cylinder, whose 
friction would consume a large por- 
tion of the available energy. The tur- 
bine, however, can utilize as effectively 
the energy between 26 and 28 in. of 
vacuum as it can utilize the energy 
between atmospheric pressure and 5 
lb. below. 


FIG. 1 

Pounds Pea 




































' O 











Fig. 1, gives the manufacturers' 
guaranteed steam consumption curves 
for a 7000-kw. low-pressure Rateau- 
Smoot turbine, running at 28.5 in. 
vacuum with an admission of 16 lb. 
absolute. At 7000-kw. such a ma- 
chine will be guaranteed to deliver 
one kw.-hr. at the switchboard for 
25.7 lb. of steam. 

June, 1909 



An investigation of the steam con- 
sumptions obtained when such a tur- 
bine is used to compound high-pres- 
sure non-condensing engines will 
prove of interest. The following table 
shows the steam consumption, ef- 
ficiencies, et cetera, for each of these 
two units. The figures taken for the 
steam consumption in both cases are 
rated very conservatively for machines 
of large power, the turbine being of 
7000-kw. capacity and the engines of 
over 2000 kw. each, several of which 
could be used in conjunction with a 
single turbine. 

Boiler pressure, 200 pounds, no superheat 
Vacuum, 28.5 inches on 30-inch barometer 

The question of the most suitable 
intermediate pressure for engine ex- 
haust and turbine admission is not so 
important as it might seem from a 
cursory consideration. The pressure 
giving the maximum efficiency for the 
whole plant is obviously the pressure 
that allows approximately equal effi- 
ciencies of heat transformation into 
power for engine and for turbine. 

In the case of highly inefficient en- 
gines, however, such a condition can 
never be reached, and the inter- 
mediate pressure giving a maximum 
output from the whole plant should be 
taken as high as the condition under 
which the engine is working will per- 


Steam Pressure 


Admission Exhaust 

Engine . . 




Steam per 

18 lbs. 
17.8 " 

Steam per 

27.7 lbs. 
26.6 " 

of Engine 


65 per cem 

Steam per 



23.4 lbs. 

mit. This latter condition is generally 
the case in engines working in steel 
mills doing highly intermittent service, 
for here, at the very best conditi 
the efficiency of the engine is always 
lower than that of the turbine. 

The type of engines used in central 
stations, however, when exhausting in 
the neighborhood of atmospheric pres- 
sure, will show an efficiency prac- 
tically equal to a low-pressure turbine, 
consequently very little difference in 
the plant efficiency will be made if the 
intermediate pressure is taken any- 
where from 3 or 4 lb. below atmos- 
phere to 15 or 20 lb. above. The 
reason for this wide range in pressure 
is to be found in the fact that the effi- 
ciency curve for both engine and tur- 
bine has a very fiat top within this 
range, showing but slight rise or fall 
between either extreme. 


Since low-pressure turbines work 
efficiently on high vacuums, it is well 
worth while to investigate thoroughly 

Steam per kilowatt from combined 

TH£OfTE7iC#l- ST£AM C-O'VSOrtfT'Orx OF f^e&rSCT £fV<5/ivE 

plant = 1 + 1 

13.6 lb. steam 

27.7 26.6 
per kilowatt-hour. 

The combined mechanical efficiency 
of heat transformation into electricity 
represented by these two units work- 
ing in conjunction is approximately 
66 per cent., after allowing for all 
losses in turbine, engine and dynamo. 

This combination of turbine and en- 
gine represents the very highest effi- 
ciency possible to obtain in any kind 
of steam engine, since it places to best 
advantage the reciprocating engine 
and the turbine, neither one of which 
can, unaided, accomplish the same re- 
sult. The figures entering into these 
calculations are taken conservatively, 
and it is believed that the rating given 
to the reciprocating engine of 23.4 lb. 
per indicated horse-power hour com- 
pound non-condensing is a figure 
readily obtainable. 

In Fig. 2 is a logarithmic plot 
of the available energy in steam 
for given admission and exhaust pres- 
sures. A straight line passing from 
the pressure at the throttle to the pres- 
sure of the exhaust intercepts the cen- 
tral scale of the corresponding quan- 
tity of steam per unit of power avail- 
able in the steam. This figure, divided 
by the efficiency of the engine, gives 
the quantity of steam per unit of 
power developed. The formula from 
which this plot was made was orig- 
inally developed by Professor Rateau 
from the entropy diagram and pub- 
lished in many of his papers on the 
subject of steam turbines. 



P&£ S&u **£ 

too - 
tso ■ 

too ' 

— 300 



So ■ 

so m 




— ts 












- V) 















FIG. 2 

j 36 


June, 1909 

the vacuum of maximum economy, 
putting on one side the cost of obtain- 
ing the vacuum and on the other the 
economy resulting in the turbine. 

With barometric condensers, no real 
difficulty is encountered in obtaining a 
vacuum of 28.5 in. with water under 
yo° fahr., and similar results can be 
obtained with a surface condenser, 
provided a large water supply is avail- 
able which does not require a high lift 
to reach the condensing vessel. 

To obtain a high vacuum with 
either type of condenser, dry air 
pumps are essential. 

When working on vacuums over 28 
in., because of the low temperature of 
the steam, barometric condensers re- 
quire much less water than surface 
condensers, since, in a well-designed 
barometric condenser, the water dis- 
charged may be within one or two de- 
grees of the temperature of the in- 
coming steam, thus utilizing prac- 
tically all of its heat storage capacity. 
A surface condenser, on the other 
hand, when reduced to practical di- 
mensions, requires a much larger dif- 
ference in temperature between the 
discharged water and the entering 
steam, and consequently more water 
to carry away the heat. 

The features of the condenser, 
which, from a practical point of view, 
limit the obtainable vacuum, are — in 
the barometric type, the air pump 
capacity; and in the surface con- 
denser, the quantity of water. 

Under fairly favorable conditions, 
the power expended to maintain a 
vacuum as high as 28.5 in. on a low- 
pressure turbine does not exceed 5 
per cent, of the turbine output. 


A discussion of the low-pressure 
turbine is not complete without refer- 
ence to the Rateau steam regenerator, 
which has made feasible the applica- 
tion of low-pressure turbines to inter- 
mittently operating engines. 

The regenerator consists of a cylin- 
drical vessel, containing water which 
is kept in intimate contact with the 
steam supply, and through the varia- 
tions in temperature of steam attend- 
ant to corresponding variations in 
pressure serves as an accumulator of 
heat through increasing and decreas- 
ing the temperature of the body of 

As the pressure of the steam rises 
within the vessel, the temperature of 
the water also rises, accomplishing, 
therefore, the storage of heat in the 
water through the condensation of 
steam ; and vice versa, when the steam 
pressure falls, the temperature of the 
steam becomes less and the water 
gives off the heat which has been previ- 
ously stored, in the form of steam. 

The effect of the steam regenerator 
is identical to what would be obtained 
were it replaced by a simple receiver. 
The dimensions, however, of a simple 
receiver having a storage capacity 
equal to that of a regenerator are 
enormously greater than those of the 
regenerator ; an 8- ft. by 40-ft. Rateau 
regenerator having as great as stor- 
age capacity as a receiver 50 ft. in 
diameter by 100 ft. long. 


Steam turbines have been in the 
process of evolution for many years, 
and their chief characteristics are at 
present well known. 

The two types of turbine in exten- 
sive use are known as action and re- 
action machines. To the action type 
belong the Curtis, De Laval and 
Rateau machines. The re-action type 
is represented by the Parsons turbine. 
In an action type machine the pres- 
sure drop ocurs principally in the sta- 
tionary nozzles, while in the re-action 
machine a uniform pressure drop oc- 
curs in each row of stationary and 
rotary buckets ; consequently, in the 
re-action type of machine steam leaks 
around both stationary and rotary 
blades, thus necessitating that the run- 
ning clearance between stationary and 
rotary elements be reduced to the 
minimum possible value, from which 
reduction in clearance arises the great- 
est source of trouble to turbines of 
this sort ; i. e., stripping blades from 
their stationary and rotary elements. 

Stripping of the blades may some- 
times be the result of improper fasten- 
ing of the buckets to the rotor drum. 
Obviously, the larger the number of 
rotary buckets, the greater becomes 
the danger of stripping ; first, because 
each additional blade is an additional 
possible cause of trouble ; and second, 
because the larger the number of 
blades, the more restricted the tur- 
bine designer is in his method of at- 
tachment, owing to the space available 
and to the permissible cost of con- 

The successful operation of this 
type of turbine has always depended 
on most accurate workmanship, to- 
gether with extreme care in assemb- 
ling, and thoroughly reliable means to 
prevent foreign matter being carried 
by the steam into the turbine. 

The close clearance necessary in 
these machines, to show good steam 
economies, is frequently sacrificed in 
order to obtain greater reliability of 

Particular care is also required in 
starting the larger machines of this 
type, as they must be brought to a 
uniform temperature, corresponding 
nearly to the temperature at which the 
machine is to work before starting, 
this being necessary in order to allow 

the various parts to reach their work- 
ing temperatures and their corre- 
sponding heat expansions. 

The importance of this feature is 
readily seen from the fact that the ex- 
pansion of the rotor when heated 
from the temperature of the atmos- 
phere up to that of the working steam 
often exceeds the clearance between 
rotor and stator. The process of 
warming up such a machine is a slow 
one, because, as steam is first ad- 
mitted, the upper portions of casing 
and rotor are heated first, causing 
them to expand ; the lower portions, 
not expanding so much, give a slight 
curve to both casing and rotor. This 
disposition for the central portion of 
the turbine to rise is further aug- 
mented by the resistance of the lower 
portion of the turbine casing to slide 
lengthwise of the sub-base as it is ex- 
panded by increasing temperature. 

The significance of these features 
would not appear if it were not for 
the close running clearance. An ac- 
tion type of machine, on the contrary, 
having large running clearances, can 
with safety be brought up to speed 
and full load, when cold, in two or 
three minutes' time. 

In the action type of machine the 
moving element has no appreciable 
pressure drop from entering to leav- 
ing side of its buckets, and therefore 
no disposition for steam to leak 
around the buckets in preference to 
passing through them, consequently a 
large clearance is permissible round 
the rotary buckets. Furthermore, the 
rotary buckets are carried by wheels 
mounted on a shaft and between con- 
tiguous wheel elements the station- 
ary diaphragm containing the ex- 
panding nozzles can be carried down 
to the shaft, between which and the 
shaft is a running clearance of very 
much less diameter than that neces- 
sitated by the re-action type of ma- 

In the opinion of the writer, the re- 
action machine is confronted with a 
serious dilemma ; a small clearance 
is required for economy, but involves 
great risk of accident. 

Turbines, in common with all en- 
gines, are subject to deterioration with 
service. The actions tending to lower 
their steam economy are : 

First — A gradual increase in the 
quantity of steam leaking through 
clearance spaces, which by-pass the 
active portion of the turbine ; and 

Second — The wearing of the buck- 
ets and guide veins, distorting them 
from their proper shape, thus lower- 
ing their mechanical efficiency. 

The losses coming under the first 
case are of very little significance in 
the action turbine, because in such a 
machine the diameter of the clearance 
space is small, usually that of the tur- 

June, 1909 



bine shaft; but in the re-action type 
of machine the diameter of the clear- 
ance space is large and equal to that 
at the buckets, giving a leakage area 
much larger than that of the action 
machine. The clearance is increased 
with use of the machine, by the wear 
from steam passing at high velocity, 
together with the entrained water and 
particles of dirt. 

On both action and re-action ma- 
chines the buckets are subject to wear, 
the extent of which depends upon the 
relative velocity of steam passing over 
the bucket, the maximum value of 
which varies inversely as the square 
root of the number of pressure stages. 
In the re-action type of machine the 
wearing of buckets is largely a ques- 
tion of design, and is more or less un- 
affected by the number of stages. In 
general it seems probable that the re- 
action type of machine is subject to a 
much more rapid loss of efficiency 
than an action machine, when both 
causes are taken together. 

The question of reliability in daily 
service is of great interest, and, inas- 
much as the turbine reliability de- 
pends upon its design, it is impractical 
to discuss one feature without refer- 
ence to the other. 


From a practical point of view, the 
reliability of operation is often of 
more concern than the maintenance of 
high efficiency. 

A turbine is subject to few, but very 
serious, acidents, which may be clas- 
sified as follows: 

First — Contact between stationary 
and rotary elements; 

Second — Stripping of the blades; 

Third — An accident arising through 
an interruption or failure in action of 
the auxiliaries employed to maintain 
the turbine in operation. 

The rotary element can only come 
in contact with the stationary element 
when the clearance space is small, and 
when such is the case the intervening 
space can be bridged by an unequal 
heat expansion, through foreign mat- 
ter becoming wedged in the opening, 
or through a slight loosening of any 
one of the numerous rotary buckets. 
If contact is once established, the dam- 
age is liable to be severe. It has fre- 
quently been stated that the clearance 
is automatically maintained by the 
wear which it produces. This may 
have happened in some instances, but 
usually the cuttings are welded to the 
rotary element and pile up, increasing 
the violence of contact until the heat' 
generated results in serious damage. 
The damage produced in this manner, 
through contact of the rotary element, 
is above all else the most frequent 
trouble encountered in turbine opera- 
tion, and every effort should be made 

to so design and manufacture turbines 
that this source of annoyance is either 
entirely eliminated or the probability 
of this kind of trouble reduced to a 

It appears safe to state that a clear- 
ance between stator and rotor less 
than three-thirty-seconds of an inch is 
absolutely unsafe, and that a clear- 
ance of one-eighth of an inch to five- 
thirty-seconds of an inch is vastly 
preferable, so long as the resulting 
steam leakage is not a factor of im- 

In the larger action type of ma- 
chines, clearances of this magnitude 
do not result in losses of the magni- 
tude of one per cent. 

The buckets may be stripped by con- 
tact with the stationary element. An 
action turbine has a very large clear- 
ance around its buckets (one-quarter 
of an inch or more) and therefore is 
practically free from damage of this 
character. In this type of turbine the 
minimum clearance occurs between the 
pressure diaphragm and shaft. When 
contact occurs between shaft and 
diaphragm, the resulting damage is 
generally a warped shaft, caused by a 
spot on the shaft becoming over- 
heated and, through its expansion, 
permanently warping the shaft out of 

An interesting phenomemon is il- 
lustrated when shafts come in contact 
with diaphragms. No matter how 
perfectly the rotary elements may be 
balanced, it is impossible to have an 
exact coincidence between the geo- 
metric centre of the shaft and the 
mass axis of the rotary element. 
When the machine is running at full 
speed it rotates as nearly about its 
mass axis as possible throwing the 
shaft slightly eccentric, and when con- 
tact is established it occurs first at 
that portion of the shaft surface 
furthest from its axis of rotation ; con- 
sequently there is always one spot in 
the shaft which touches the stationary 
element first and localizes the heating 
to a small section of the shaft peri- 
phery. The heating of the shaft at 
this spot expands it, thus lengthening 
one side of the shaft more than the 
other, causing it to warp slightly out 
of true, pushing the spot which has 
been heated by contact still further 
away from the axis of rotation and 
increasing the violence of contact. 

This danger can be largely — or en- 
tirely — overcome by presenting to the 
shaft but a very small metallic sur- 
face, or by facing the diaphragms 
with carbon blocks, which, through 
their nature, are incapable of present- 
ing sufficient resistance to cause a 
violent heating. 

The preservation of a proper clear- 
ance between rotor and stator, as be- 
tween one type of machine and an- 

other, is a question of its design and 
construction. The machine that is so 
constructed that, when nearly as- 
sembled, the running clearance may 
be inspected, has a great advantage 
over the machine which must be put 
together piece by piece. 

The vertical machine is at a disad- 
vantage in this respect on account of 
the necessity of assembling it piece by 
piece, threading over the shaft suc- 
cessively diaphragms and wheels, thus 
placing on the erector of the machine 
a great responsibility and difficulty in 
maintaining the clearance; for after 
a wheel and diaphragm have been 
placed, it is difficult to inspect the 
clearance. A horizontal machine, on 
the other hand, eliminates this diffi- 
culty almost entirely, for in such ma- 
chines it is possible to split the ma- 
chine through its horizontal centre and 
assemble in position each half, then in- 
spect the clearance between each par- 
tially assembled half and the as- 
sembled rotor. 

The turbine auxiliaries are the 
pumps for lubrication and for supply- 
ing the fluid pressure to step bearings. 
Frequently, also, the governor mech- 
anism includes an auxiliary as a con- 
necting link between the fly ball gov- 
ernor and the control valves. Any 
one of these may cause trouble to the 
turbine, since its operation is depend- 
ent upon them, and their failure re- 
sults in the failure of the whole tur- 

All of these auxiliaries appear un- 
necessary, and it would seem that 
they were introduced as a means of 
patching up features which might bet- 
ter have been omitted. 

Bearings have been lubricated by 
oil rings for many years, and the bear- 
ing of a turbine may be lubricated by 
an oil ring with the same ease as the 
bearing of a i-h.p. motor. 

An auxiliary, to maintain in action 
a step bearing, has been made more 
reliable by the installation of two 
pumps and a hydraulic accumulator, 
so that any two of these elements may 
fail, leaving one in operation. This 
seems a somewhat elaborate method 
of increasing the reliability of an es- 
sentially simple machine, and perhaps 
the easiest way to obtain the desired 
results would consist in omitting en- 
tirely the step bearing by placing the 
turbine in a horizontal position. 

A forced feed bearing lubrication is 
thought necessary in the re-action 
type of turbine, because in such ma- 
chines, having as necessity a close 
running clearance, the bearings must 
also be given a close running clear- 
ance, which is too small to permit oil 
to enter the rubbing surfaces unless 
its entrance is forced. In a vertical 
type machine, oil ring bearings are of 
course an impossibility. 



June, 1 $09 

As an example of what can be done 
in simplfying turbines, Figs. 3 and 4 
illustrate a Rateau-Smoot turbine. In 
this machine, the bearings are babbitt- 
lined, self-aligning, water-cooled and 
lubricated with oil rings. The com- 
plete journal bushing can be removed 
without disturbing any other portion 
of the turbine except the bearing 
which is to be opened. 

Between the shaft and diaphragms 
the least clearance is three-thirty-sec- 
onds of an inch, and between buckets 
and casing the minimum clearance is 
one-quarter of an inch. The wheels 
are of the type illustrated in Fig. 
11. The buckets are illustrated 
in Fig. 10, and are held astride 
of the wheel periphery by trans- 
verse rivets, this eliminating all 
metal at the wheel periphery not ab- 
solutely required for the bucket at- 
tachment. The strength of these 
wheels, together with their buckets, is 
sufficient to allow the machine to be 
run at double its normal speed (the 
stresses at double speed are four times 
those under normal conditions), with- 
out permanent deformation of wheels 
or buckets, or causing an alteration 
in the balance of the machine. 

The governor of this machine is 
mounted directly on the turbine shaft, 
and the motion from the fly balls is 
transmitted by a solid steel link to the 
steam admission valve, which is of the 
well-known double poppet balanced 
type, and controls the machine by 
throttling the steam, thus varying 
gradually the amount of steam ad- 
mitted to the turbine. 

The writer thinks that this is a 
superior method of governing a tur- 
bine than by means of a series 
of nozzles which are operated 
either wide open or closed, for it 
frequently happens that the load 
which the turbine is driving is repres- 
ented by a certain number of nozzles 
wide open, plus an additional amount 
less than one complete nozzle opening, 
consequently it is impossible to main- 
tain the turbine at a constant speed. 
for a slight increase of speed is neces- 
sary to open wide the additional 
nozzle, and a slight decrease neces- 
sary to cause its shutting, thus com- 
pelling the turbine to run between 
these two limits — i. e., the speed suffi- 
cient to open the valve and a speed 
sufficient to close it. This is partic- 
ularly annoying when turbines are 
operating in parallel with other tur- 
bines having a similar control, or with 
reciprocating engines, for it is pos- 
sible that the disposition for slight 
speed oscillation may fall in step with 
those of other turbines or engines, and 
cause fairly pronounced oscillations in 
the entire system. Instances of this 
kind have been noticed. With a 
straight throttling governor, on the 

other hand, the variation in the quan- 
tity of steam admitted to the turbine 
is absolutely gradual, and a perfect 
balance can be maintained between the 
load and the quantity of steam applied 
to the turbine. 

amount of energy needed to operate 
unbalanced valves on the one hand, 
and the small amount of energy avail- 
able in the fly ball governor on the 
other hand; hence the motor to sup- 
ply the deficiency in energy of the fly 


The machine illustrated is in opera- 
tion at the Vandergrift plant of the 
American Sheet and Tin Plate Com- 
pany, and is running in an extension 
of the rolling-mill buildings, where the 
air is full of metallic dust and scale 
from the mills. 

The speed regulation is such that at 
a given load the variation from time 
to time is less than 0.25 per cent. The 
variation between no load and full 
load can be adjusted to any figure de- 
sired. As at present operating, the 
machine runs at 1500 rev. per min. 
at full load and 1500 rev. per min. 
at no load. 

One man, by exerting his strength 
on the governor mechanism can alter 
the speed 1.5 per cent., but is unable 
to cause a sustained oscillation. 

The cut referred to above, Fig. 3, 
includes the entire turbine, and the 
only auxiliary not shown is the con- 
densing apparatus. 

Governing mechanisms, in which 
the fly balls do not control directly the 
admission valve, but do so through 
the agency of an intermediate motor 
or other mechanical device, whose 
source of energy is independent of the 
fly balls, are always equipped with a 
speed-limit device, and advisedly so, 
because of the intermediate motor, 
which is a break in the connecting 
link between fly balls and control 
valves. The presence of this inter- 
mediate motor is required by the large 

balls and to overcome the heavy un- 
balance of the valves. 

This type of governor appears a 
very complicated mechanism, one part 
of which is required to overcome the 
inherent difficulties presented by the 
other part. A more practical method 
is to put the control valves approx- 
imately in balance and to connect them 
by solid links to the governor fly balls, 
which may be given sufficient energy 
to operate the valves within the speed 
regulation desired. 


The types of action turbine which 
have been most fully developed and 
which represent the most promising 
features, both in economy and relia- 
bility of operation, are the types 
known as "Curtis" and "Rateau." 
Both of these types lend themselves to 
the construction of units in sizes up 
to the largest single power-producing 
unit yet conceived. 

Aside from very important consid- 
eration of general arrangement, the 
essential difference between the Cur- 
tis and Rateau machines lies in the 
following : 

In the Rateau machine steam is ex- 
panded successively in a series of 
nozzles playing on moving buckets 
which absorb entirely the tangential 
component of the exit velocity from 
the nozzles. After leaving: the row of 

June, 1909 



moving buckets, the steam, which has 
been reduced to only sufficient ve- 
locity for its flow through the turbine, 
enters another row of nozzles through 
which there is a pressure drop creat- 
ing a second velocity, which is in turn 
absorbed by a second row of moving 
buckets, and so on to the exhaust end 
of the turbine. 

Curtis machine such a reduction is 
impossible and the large exit velocity 
from the first row of buckets passes 
through guide blades, which, without 
a change of pressure, reverse the 
steam flow and permit the velocity re- 
maining to be absorbed in a second 
row of buckets. 

It is of interest to note that experi- 

ing high energy losses, are used where 
in the Rateau machine there is an e 
paneling nozzle of low energy loss. 

This same feature has been very 
clearly shown by Professor Rateau in 
his paper at -the St. Louis convention, 
during the World's Fair, in which he 
demonstrated irrefutably that the 
multi-velocity stage turbine was at a 
marked disadvantage in comparison 
with the multicellular type, in which 
but one nozzle and one bucket wheel 
are employed to a pressure stage. 


In the Curtis machine the pressure 
drop, which in the Rateau type occurs 
through two nozzles, is lumped into 
one nozzle, which often is of the con- 
verging-diverging type, in order that 
the exit velocity may exceed the crit- 
ical velocity for steam. 

The steam from this nozzle is then 
received by a row of moving buckets, 
the speed of which, however, is insuf- 
ficient to completely absorb the tan- 
gential component of the original ve- 
locity, and therefor the velocity of the 
steam leaving the firs; row of buckets 
represents a considerable amount of 
energy which is utilized in a second 
row of buckets by passing it through 
stationary guide veins so arranged as 
to reverse its tangential component, 
directing the steam anew upon the 
second row of buckets. 

At present a Rateau low-pressure 
turbine of large size would have for 
high vacuum eight successive steam 
nozzles and eight successive rows of 
moving buckets. The corresponding 
Curtis machine would probably have 
four successive steam nozzles, each 
playing on two rows of moving buck- 
ets, making a total of eight rows of 
moving buckets. Under these condi- 
tions, with an admission pressure 
equal to atmosphere and an exhaust 
presure of 27.5 in. on a 30-in. barom- 
eter, the steam velocity leaving the 
Rateau nozzles would be approxi- 
mately 330 metres per second, and the 
velocity leaving the Curtis nozzles 
would be approximately 456 metres, 
at which condition it enters the first 
row of buckets. In the Rateau ma- 
chine this velocity is reduced to just 
enough for the steam to flow into the 
next succeeding nozzles, while in the 

ments have thoroughly established 
the fact that the loss of energy due to 
friction and eddy currents in a well- 
designed steam nozzle, in which ve- 
locity is created by a reduction of 
pressure, does not exceed 5 per cent., 
and in nozzles of large sectional area 
comes down to 2 per cent., while the 
energy loss when steam at high veloc- 
ity is caused to move in a curved 
channel — as in the rotary buckets and 
stationary guide blades of the Curtis 
machine, which are equivalent to 
buckets — runs all the way from 15 to 
30 per cent., dependent upon the de- 
sign, construction, size, et cetera, of 
the buckets. 

For equivalent pressure drops, the 
Rateau type of machine has two 
nozzles, in which the loss is small, and 
two rows of moving buckets, in which 
the loss is large. The equivalent Cur- 
tis element representing an equal 
pressure drop has one nozzle, in which 
the loss is small, followed by two 
rows of moving buckets and one row 
of stationary guides, three in all, for 
which the loss is high. Thus, be- 
tween the Rateau machine and the 
Curtis machine, the substitution of 
stationary guide blades in the Curtis 
machine for nozzles in the Rateau 'ma- 
chine introduces in the Curtis ma- 
chine an element of high energy loss, 
which is represented in the Rateau 
machine by an element of low energy 

Figs. 5 and 6 show, respec- 
tively, the corresponding elements 
of Rateau and Curtis turbines. 
The elements being placed one over 
the other, show immediately that in 
the Curtis machine deflecting guide 
blades, constructed like buckets, hav- 




Professor Rateau, in his paper, 
further showed that the maximum 
possible obtainable efficiency with 
each type of turbine differed some 20 
per cent, with the bucket construction 
then in use, and that the difference 
could not be overcome by any feature 
of bucket construction or design, since 
whatever is obtainable in one type of 
machine in the way of reducing losses 
in buckets is also possible in the other 
type of machine, the Curtis type hav- 
ing, however, always the additional 
loss represented by the stationary 
guide blades constructed like buckets 
and having losses equivalent to those 
occurring in a bucket, while in the 
Rateau type of machine the corre- 
sponding element is an expanding 
nozzle in which the losses are very 
small. In addition to this, the losses 
of energy due to shock are greater in 
the first row of buckets on the Curtis 
machine, because the entering steam 
has some 40 per cent, greater velocity 
than in the Rateau type. These dif- 
ferences can not be overcome and will 
always prove to the disadvantage of 
the Curtis turbine. 


Fig. 7 represents a row of 
buckets, the centre portion of 
which has been increased to give be- 
tween adjacent buckets approxi- 
mately a uniform width of steam 
channel. The angles of entrance for 
steam at full load and light load are 
shown by arrows in the cut. Fig. 8 
shows the type of buckets employed 
in the Rateau-Smoot turbine, with the 



June, 1909 

angles of steam entrance for full and 
light load also indicated. 

These figures show that it is a mis- 
take to increase the thickness of a 
bucket toward the centre, as at light 
loads the entering steam abruptly 


•-■•"Sf I 



strikes the rear of the bucket. The 
loss resulting is doubled. First, there 
occurs the loss due to the steam shock 
itself; and second, the loss due to the 
fact that the reaction from this shock 
is tending to drive the turbine back- 
ward and not forward. 

The writer is quite unable to see 
any advantage in a bucket which is 
thicker in the middle, having a cres- 
cent section. As a matter of resisting 
the steam wear, it should be noted 
that the edges of all buckets, whether 
of crescent section or otherwise, are 
the portions principally subject to the 
steam erosion and are of necessity 
made thin in order to reduce the steam 
friction of the jet entering the bucket 
wheel. When these thin edges are 
worn the bucket has lost its proper 
section and becomes highly inefficient, 
for the crescent section equally as 
well as for a section of uniform thick- 
ness. In addition to this time, which 
is negative in its character, a crescent 

section bucket presents the disad- 
vantage above noted of increased 
losses on the light loads ; but still 
more serious from the designer's point 
of view, it greatly increases the 
weight of metal in the bucket. 

At ordinary bucket speeds for the 
multi-stage type of turbine, the cen- 
trifugal force per pound of bucket 
weight amount to from iooo to 2000 
lb., and therefore each additional 
pound of material over that absolutely 
necessary adds to the wheel an enor- 
mous disruptive effort. 

The function of the wheel is pri- 
marily to hold the buckets, and if the 
the weight of the buckets is doubled 
the weight of the wheel itself must be 
doubled in order to hold the buckets 
securely in position. 

The limiting strain in the wheel is 
its elastic limit and not the ultimate 
strength of the material employed, 
for if once the elastic limit of a wheel 
has been exceeded, it is stretched out 
of its original shape and the running 
balance destroyed, causing the tur- 
bine to become inoperative through 
the violence of vibration ensuing. 
With equal weight, the strongest 
wheel is the one which has the light- 
est periphery, for it is the weight of 
the periphery which produces the 

Buckets which are held in position 
by means of a dovetailed fit are ob- 
jectionable because of the large 
amount of weight entailed by the 
dovetail construction. On the other 
hand, the bucket which is held astride 
of the wheel and riveted through by 
rivets parallel to the shaft has maxi- 
mum lightness for the strength requi- 
site to hold the buckets in place. We 
consider this latter construction vastly 
superior to any other yet produced, 
for the reasons heretofore enumer- 

Fig. 9 shows a typical dovetailed 
method of mounting buckets on their 
wheel, and Fig. 10 shows the type of 
mounting adopted in the Rateau- 
Smoot turbine. 

It should be adopted that much less 
metal is required at the wheel rim in 
the Rateau-Smoot turbine than is re- 
quired by the dovetail construction. 
This metal is entirely unable to hold 
itself against the centrifugal force 
produced by its rotation and therefore 
must be carried by metal provided at 
the center of the disc, a heavy section 
being a source of weakness rather 
than one of strength. 

The cross-section of the Rateau- 
Smoot bucket and wheel is taken from 
a 2000-kw., 1500-r.p.m. low-pressure 
turbine and can be driven at 3000 
r.p.m. without producing a strain in 
buckets or wheels exceeding the 
elastic limit of ordinary flanged steel 



Fig. 10. — BUCKETS 


Since the original single-wheel tur- 
bine, running at enormous speeds, in- 
vented by De Laval, various analyses 
have been made of the strains and 
strengths of discs turning at high 
speeds. All of these analyses un- 
fortunately contain as prime assump- 
tion a practical fallacy. These wheels 
have been designed for uniform 
strains in both tangential and radial 
directions, and the material of the 
wheel has been treated as if its elastic 
limit coincided with its ultimate 
strength, the point of danger being 
considered as the elastic limit. The 
result produces a wheel section whose 
fallacy will be obvious, when it is 
borne in mind that all metal placed 
within a radius lettered B. Fig. 
11 is capable of holding itself and 
also an additional load, while all 
metal external to the radius lettered 
B is incapable of holding itself against 
centrifugal force, consequently it is 
simply necessary to add sufficient 
metal within this radius to hold to- 
gether the entire wheel. When a 
wheel has been designed for uniform 
radial and tangential stresses, the 
section is that shown by Fig. 12, 
in which it will be noted ' more 
metal is added outside of the critical 
radius than for the wheel illustrated 
in Fig. 11. The assumption of equal 
radial and tangential stresses as the 
basis for wheel design leads to an ir- 
rational conclusion ; either radial or 

Tone, 1909 



tangential stress is sufficient to hold 
the wheel together, as all material 
suitable for the construction of a tur- 
bine wheel possesses in a high degree 
the property of stretching beyond the 
elastic limit, and when tangential 
stresses exceed the elastic limit and 
radial stresses fall under the elastic 
limit, an infinitesimal stretch in a tan- 
gential direction will allow a suffi- 
cient elongation radially for the 
radial stresses to carry their proper 
share of the load. 

While it is true that a wheel is un- 
satisfactory if both tangential and 
radial stresses exceed the elastic limit, 
it should also be borne in mind that 
either one can hold in position the 
wheel, regardless of what happens to 
the other. 

Fig. 11 

Fig. 12 

For example, in the wheel illus- 
trated by Fig. ii, the maximum 
stress has been taken at 8ooo lb. 
per square inch, the material being 
ordinary flange steel. At the posi- 
tion lettered A, the tangential stresses 
may considerably exceed the elastic 
limit. The radial stresses, however, 
are much under the elastic limit, and 
when under test, prior to assembling 
on the shaft, the wheel has been 
brought to double its normal speed, a 
minute tangential stretch of the wheel 
allows the radial stresses to reach a 
sufficient value to hold the outer peri- 
phery to the heavier central portion, 
the permanent stretching occurring 
tangentially, but not radially, thus al- 
lowing the radial stresses to assume a 
value sufficient to hold the wheel to- 


Starting from a bucket of known 

weight, a wheel can be calculated 
strong enough to hold the buckets in 
place. The heavier the bucket, in 
equal proportion the heavier the 
wheel, consequently heavy buckets 
produce heavy wheels. Heavy wheels 
reduce the critical speed of the shaft, 
unless the shaft is also made heavier 
to offset the effect of the increased 
weight placed upon it. It is objec- 
tionable to use a large shaft, for two 
reasons : First, because it increases the 
peripheral speed of rubbing surfaces 
in the bearing, making them more 
difficult to keep cool; and second, be- 
cause it increases the diameter of the 
clearance space between shaft and 
pressure diaphragms, adding to the 
steam leakage. 

graphical integration, and highly ac- 
curate results obtained, no matter 
how complex the distribution of load 
upon the shaft may be or how widely 
varying may be the shaft diameter, 

The execution of such a calcula- 
tion, however, is a cumbersome mat- 
ter, and when the critical speeds of a 
series of different shafts have been 
determined in this manner, the corre- 
sponding constants g in the following 
formula for critical speeds. 

Critical speed (rev. per min.) = 



are determined for all shafts whose 
essential characteristics are similar to 

lOO ooo^ 

90,000 . 

60,000 _ 
70.000 _ 
iO.OOO _ 

3Qooo _ 



C&/T/CAL <&P£CO Of <£**r 


F?.PM. • a . i o" 


Constant o » /. 25 To 2 00 
Shaft DuntrTe* Incrtes - O 
Shaft L£HGT" ' - i- 

TbrAL W£'Gt/r Po vivos- W 


Various attempts have been made 
to operate turbines in which the nor- 
mal running speed was greater than 
the critical speed (the critical speed 
of a shaft is the speed corresponding 
to the number of vibrations which the 
shaft, together with its carried 
weight, will vibrate, and when given 
in revolutions per minute is the os- 
cillations per minute which the shaft 
can sustain when once started oscillat- 

The calculation of critical speeds 
can be carried out by the process of 

those whose complete analysis has 
has been carried through. 

When sufficient experience has been 
gathered to determine for a given 
shaft the value of this constant, the 
critical speed of the shaft may be 
taken from a logarithmic plot, as 
shown in Fig. 13, which gives the 
critical speeds for the value of the 
constant g equal to 1.05, the value 
most frequently encountered in tur- 
bines of the multicellular type. For 
turbines whose shaft construction en- 
tails a different value of g, the cor- 



June, 1909 

responding critical speed may be 
directly deduced from that given by 
the logarithmic plot above referred to. 


A turbine may vibrate objection- 
ably or destructively, depending upon 
the amplitude of the vibrations. The 
causes of the vibrations may be found 
either in a shaft whose critical speed 
is under the running speed, or in 
wheels which have strains both radial 
and tangential near the elastic limit, 
thus causing a slow and continual 
deformation of the wheel and conse- 
quent shifting of its mass axis. From 
the dynamo end, vibrations can also 
be set up if the windings are inse- 
curely held in position and gradually 
shift their position. 

A properly designed turbine and 
dynamo, when once placed in balance 
so that the unit runs quietly, should 
never show a tendency for greater 
vibration ; and, when such is the case, 
the design is at fault, for the weights 
carried on the shafts must shift in 
order to throw the machine out of 

Incidentally, this would seem to 
condemn a turbine and dynamo run- 
ning on three bearing's, for in such a 
machine any slight disposition toward 
vibration in turbine or dynamo will be 
transmitted through the solid shaft 
and set up vibrations in the other unit, 
thus causing the turbine to vibrate 
and its shaft to tremble when the tur- 
bine itself is not at fault, but the 
dynamo is out of balance. 

We consider the three-bearing ma- 
chine questionable for this specific 
reason, in addition to the well-known 
difficulty of maintaining in perfect 

alignment three bearings. Another 
serious objection to a three-bearing 
machine is that the shaft may pound 
on the central bearing, for the unit 
endeavors to run as a two-bearing 
machine running free of the central 
bearing and oscillating by the clear- 
ance given that bearing, thus placing 
on the central bearing the duty of re- 
stricting oscillations and limiting 
their amplitude by absorbing' the blow 
struck by the shaft for each oscilla- 

In vertical machines this sometimes 
results in very serious damage to the 
fastenings of the central bearing, for 
under these conditions it is subjected 
to enormous lateral strains, capable in 
some instances of shearing loose the 
attachment of the central bearing to 
the supporting framework. We con- 
sider it vastly better, although some- 
what more expensive, to allow a bear- 
ing at either end of turbine and 
dynamo shaft, and to insulate against 
transmitted vibrations from one to 
the other by entirely breaking the con- 
tinuity of the shaft, in so far as its 
transverse strength is concerned, 
placing between the two central bear- 
ings a non-rigid coupling, which will 
allow one shaft to bend without trans- 
mitting a bending movement to the 
other shaft. 


The writer had the opportunity of 
investigating the action of oil in bear- 
ings running 1 at high speed, and ran a 
5-in. by 13-in. bearing at full speed 
(1500 rev. per min.) with normal 
load with the top cap removed. 

The bearing in which the experi- 

ment was made was provided with the 
usual oil grooves and lubricated by 
rings having a positive pumping ac- 
tion, supplying oil from the oil reser- 
voir to the journal. At half speed 
and above, oil, instead of being car- 
ried into the journal through the oil 
grooves, squirted upward from the 
grooves against the direction of rota- 
tion, each groove throwing a stream 
of oil 0.25 in. in diameter several feet 
into the air, showing that the grooves 
simply provided vents for the back 
flow of the oil, which would otherwise 
have been carried into the journal, 
through its adhesion to the shaft, and 
indicating the truth of a theory which 
we have all held, but with consider- 
able doubt, that a high-speed journal 
floated on an oil film. 

In this paper I have endeavored to 
show that steam turbines are in no 
way dependent on accurate workman- 
ship for their reliability, and that sim- 
plicity and reliability will always go 
together in their construction. 

I have also wished to express the 
idea that high efficiencies can be ob- 
tained without endangering the relia- 
bility of the turbine. 

Low cost of construction, absolute 
reliability, maintenance reduced to a 
minimum, and high efficiency may as- 
sure to the turbine a future of increas- 
ing importance. 

Furthermore, I strongly suggest 
that owners of non-condensing plants 
consider the opportunity of utilizing 
the exhaust of their reciprocating en- 
gines in low-pressure steam turbines, 
and thereby adopt a method of re- 
juvenating their plants by one of the 
most efficient methods of developing 
power from steam. 

Electrostatic Instruments 

Electrostatic instruments are used 
as ground detectors and voltmeters.* 
They do not depend for their action 
upon a flow of current through a 
winding, but upon the principle that 
two bodies or plates ' oppositely 
charged will tend to attract one an- 
other. A plate, usually of aluminum, 
is mounted on a shaft and suspended 
between stationary plates. In many 
gtound detectors the moving vane is 
connected to the ground and the fixed 
plates to the line wires. One promi- 
nent manufacturer, however, connects 
one set of fixed plates to the ground, 
another set to the line wires, thus 
leaving the moving aluminum vane 
to carry an induced electrostatic 
charge. This construction reduces 
the chance for a short circuit in the 
instrument due to an abnormal rise 


of the tested voltage. 

The indicating needle is carried by 
the moving vane and its position de- 
pends upon the amount of ground, or 
what is the same thing, upon the force 
of the attracting charges and the op- 
posing torque, which is secured by a 
control spring or the pull of gravity 
upon counterweights. The attraction 
between the plates varies as the 
square of the voltag'e, hence the scale 
is very open at the upper end. 

These instruments consume little 
energy and are unaffected by mag- 
netic fields, and can be connected di- 
rectly to high-potential circuits. 

Since they are essentially conden- 
sers and their action depends upon 
capacity, they have a tendency to be 
affected by variation of the frequency 
or by wave form. This is easily 

shown by calibrating the instrument 
on a sine wave and then checking it 
on a wave form having higher har- 

One of the principal difficulties of 
design is that the actuating forces are 
very small and friction is therefore 
apt to produce errors. In order to re- 
duce the friction factor the torque 
must be increased, and it is therefore 
necesary to make the distance be- 
tween the fixed and moving plates a 
minimum. This may introduce an- 
other troublesome feature, that of 
sparking or brush discharge between 
plates. If for any reason there should 
occur an excessive rise of potential, 
high resistance, usually in the form of 
graphitized carbon rods, is placed in 
series with the instrument to prevent 
excessive flow of current, in case an 

Continued from March Issue. 

June, 1909 



internal short circuit should occur. 
Since these instruments depend upon 
electrostatic charges for their action, 
they are, of course, very susceptible 
to stray electrostatic fields. 

The low torque and the effect of 
frequency and wave form variation 
render this type of instrument less re- 
liable as a voltmeter than some other 
types. When used on circuits above 
20,000 volts it is not connected direct- 
ly to the circuit, but is used in connec- 
tion with condenser multipliers. The 
use of condenser multipliers may be 
avoided by submerging- the plates 
and vanes in oil. 

d'arsonval instruments. 

D'Arsonval instruments are used on 
direct-current circuits only and are 
limited to ammeters and voltmeters. 
The Weston D'Arsonval instrument, 
the original patents of which have re- 
cently expired, is representative of 
this type and has come to be recog- 
nized as the standard for direct-cur- 
rent work. Considerable credit is due 
the manufacturer of this instrument, 
for without a doubt the present stage 
of the art of instrument design has 
been largely determined by the effi- 
ciency of this type. 

The principle of action is that of a 
coil of fine copper wire wound on a 
small aluminum holder and moving 
in a uniform magnetic field. A per- 
manent magnet with annular pole 
pieces maintains the magnetic field. 
The moving coil encircles a stationary 
soft-iron core, thus concentrating the 
field upon which the current in the 
moving coil receives its turning move- 
ment. The angle turned through is 
proportional to the flow of the cur- 
rent. The counter torque is secured 
by a spiral control spring, which ex- 
erts a force proportional to the an- 
gular position of the coil ; the result 
is a uniformly divided scale. 

The field of the permanent magnet 
is relatively strong, about 700 lines 
per square centimeter, hence only a 
few ampere turns are required on the 
moving coil. This means small en- 
ergy, consumption, strong torque, 
light-weight moving element and 
good damping qualities, constituting 
an exceedingly efficient combination. 
The voltage drop for the ammeter ap- 
proximates 0.03 to 0.06 volt, about 
one-tenth that of the hot-wire amme- 
ter, thus making it a successful instru- 
ment for use with a shunt. The re- 
sistance of the moving coil of the 
voltmeter is 10 to 20 ohms, hence the 
copper temperature co-efficient is easi- 
ly eliminated by connecting in series a 
resistance of negative or zero temper- 
ature co-efficient. The temperature 
co-efficient of a well-designed instru- 
ment should not exceed 0.01 per cent, 
per degree centigrade. 

There are two sources of error 
which may prove exceedingly objec- 
tionable — a change in the strength of 
the control spring or a change in the 
strength of the permanent magnet. 
The spring may not have been prop- 
erly aged, and continued use under 
tension, accompanied by temperature 
variations, may cause it to take a 
"set," thus producing inaccurate in- 
dications of the indicating needle. If 
the needle does not return to the ex- 
act zero mark it shows that either the 
needle is bent or the control spring 
has changed its strength. 

In the D'Arsonval instrument the 
control spring also serves to convey 
the current to the moving coil. In an 
ammeter this is a very important con- 
sideration in the design, because the 
temperature co-efficient of the con- 
trol spring varies from 0.1 to 0.4 per 
degree Centigrade, depending upon 
the material used, while the resistance 
may vary from 0.1 to 0.5 ohms, de- 
pending upon the grade of instru- 
ment. It is, therefore, necessary to 
employ in series with the armature as 
much zero or negative temperature 
co-efficient wire as possible. 

The present methods of producing, 
hardening and magnetizing perma- 
nent magnets are so far advanced and 
the design of the magnetic circuit is 
such that scarcely any trouble will be 
experienced due to a change in the 
strength of the magnet. The perma- 
nence of life of a magnet depends up- 
on making the reluctance a minimum. 
The length of steel and iron must be 
very much greater than the air gap 
and the cross section of the air gap 
larger than the average cross section 
of the steel. 

The longer the air gap and the 
smaller its cross-sectional area the 
greater the percentage leakage of 
flux, hence the more susceptible will 
the instrument be to stray magnetic 
fields from external sources. 

Since this class of instruments op- 
erates upon magnetic principles, it is 
apt to be very susceptible to stray 
fields unless properly shielded. In 
an unshielded permanent magnet in- 
strument of moderate air gap the 
earth's field alone will produce an 
error of one per cent. In order to 
protect switchboard instruments of 
this type the operating parts are 
mounted in an iron case. 

The effect of stray fields is also 
eliminated by using two magnets and 
arranging their four poles astatically, 
i. e., so that if a stray magnetic field 
increases the strength of one set of 
pole pieces it will produce a corre- 
sponding decrease of intensity in the 
other set of pole pieces. This ar- 
rangement forms two magnetic fields 
in opposite directions in which the 
armature moves. The armature 

winding consists of two coils in se- 
ries, one wound in one direction, the 
other in the opposite direction and so 
mounted that one coil is acted upon 
by only one of the magnetic fields and 
the other coil by the other field. The 
effect of a stray field from some ex- 
ternal source will have a positive ef- 
fect on one half of the armature and 
an equal negative effect on the other 
half, so that the error due to the 
stray field is entirely eliminated. The 
armature coils are well protected, be- 
ing mounted between two thin sheets 
of aluminum. The movement of the 
armature causes the generation of 
eddy currents in these aluminum 
disks, thereby ensuring excellent 
dead-beat qualities and a light-weigh^ 
armature. The four magnet poles 
produce a very high torque without 
increased energy consumption. 

The method of control in the 
astatic instrument is equally unique 
and interesting. Neither control 
springs or counterweights are used. 
The control is entirely magnetic. On 
the shaft of the moving element are 
mounted two small rectangular pieces 
of soft iron, one on one side of the 
armature, the other on the opposite 
side of the armature. These pieces 
of iron are located on the shaft so that 
they take advantage of a magnetic 
field set up by the pole pieces, which 
is parallel to the armature and at 
right angles to the field in which the 
armature moves and receives its turn- 
ing moment. Like a compass needle, 
these rectangular pieces of iron try 
to turn to a position so as to be inter- 
cepted by a minimum number of lines 
of force. With no current flowing 
in the armature coils and by turning 
these iron control pieces on the shaft 
to this position, the zero mark for the 
needle is located. The full scale mark 
is determined by adjusting the 
amount of resistance in series with 
the armature when current is flowing 
in its winding. 

The torque of the instrument is 
proportional to the current flowing 
in the armature, while the counter- 
torque exerted on the control pieces 
is proportional to their angular posi- 
tion, the result is an evenly divided 

By turning the iron control pieces 
on the shaft to the proper position the 
zero mark may be located at any de- 
sired point on the scale, thus permit- 
ting the instrument to be used when 
the direction of current flow is re- 
versed, as is the case in charging and 
discharging storage batteries. 

These astatic instruments are still 
further protected from stray fields by 
mounting them in cast-iron cases. It 
will be seen that this particular type 
of D'Arsonval instrument is very de- 
sirable for switchboard use, especially 



June, 1909 

where the bus bars carry heavy cur- 


The dynamometer type of instru- 
ment is constructed from two coils 
of wire, one of which is fixed and the 
other movable ; the fixed coil is usual- 
ly made to enclose the moving coil. 
No permanent magnet or iron is used 
to set up a field, and the field which is 
developed is comparatively weak, not 
more than one-fifth and seldom more 
than one-tenth that of a permanent 
magnet type of instrument. This 
means a large number of ampere 
turns is required on the moving and 
fixed coils in order to secure 
the necessary torque. Although 
the absence of iron results in 
a weak field, it has the advantage that 
on alternating currents the effect of 
frequency and wave-form variations 
is very slight. The moving coil is 
heavier than that of the D'Arsonval 
type, hence the temperature co- 
efficient is apt to be relatively higher 
than in a permanent magnet instru- 
ment or an instrument naturally pos- 
sessing higher torque. 

Dynamometer instruments can be 
used on either direct or alternating 
current. When used on alternating 
current the self-induction of the cir- 
cuits comprising the fixed and moving 
coils should be kept a minimum; 
0.025 henry is a fair value. 

One of the chief drawbacks of this 
type of instrument is its relatively 
weak torque, hence it is apt to be af- 
fected by stray magnetic fields ; the 
earth's field alone may cause an error 
of 2 per cent, on the lower half of 
the scale. Stray field effects may, 
however, be efficiently guarded 
against by properly shielding the in- 
strument with an internal magnetic 
shield or by a cast-iron cover or by a 
combination of both. 

The indicating wattmeter is usually 
the representative of the dynamome- 
ter type instrument, yet voltmeters, 
polyphase indicating wattmeters, 
power-factor indicators and fre- 
quency indicators are included in this 
classification. In the wattemeter and 
power-factor indicator the fixed coil 
carries current proportional to the 
line current, while the moving coil or 
coils carry current proportional to the 
voltage. The frequency indicator and 
voltmeter are both connected across 
the line and do not depend for their 
action upon the line current. The 
polyphase wattmeter is essentially two 
single-phase wattmeters combined 
under one cover, actuating one indi- 
cating needle. There are two fixed 
current coils and two movable poten- 
tial coils, the moving coils being 
mounted on a single shaft which ac- 
tuates the indicating needle. The 

polyphase wattmeter will indicate the 
true watts of the circuit for either bal- 
anced or unbalanced loads and re- 
gardless of the nature of the load. 

The power-factor indicator pos- 
seses either one current coil and two 
potential coils or two current coils 
and one potential coil. It is intended 
only for use on circuits which are ap- 
proximately balanced. Its accuracy 
is unaffected by current or voltage 
variations, but, like the wattmeter, it 
should be thoroughly shielded. 

The frequency indicator as some- 
times constructed comprises two fixed 
fields coils in series with one another 
and two moving coils. The latter are 
rigidly mounted together at a definite 
angle with one another on the same 
shaft which operates the needle. 
Changing this angle between the coils 
alters the scale distribution and de- 
stroys the calibration. No control 
springs are required as the currents in 
the moving coils set up directive 
forces, which, with the fixed coils, 
determine the position of the indica- 
ting needle. 

One of the moving coils is in se- 
ries with a very high reactance, while 
the other moving coil is in series with 
a non-inductive resistance ; these two 
circuits then being connected in mul- 
tiple. The field coils and a resistance 
are in series with this combination. 
When the frequency is normal the 
current in both moving coils is the 
same, thus producing directive forces 
of equal value determining the loca- 
tion of the needle at the center of the 
scale. Any change of frequency will 
affect the intensity of current flow in 
the inductive circuit, yet the current 
in the non-inductive circuit remains 
unaffected. The ratios of these two 
currents, therefore, determine the in- 
dications of the needle. 

It will be noted that the inductive 
and non-inductive circuits are in mul- 
tiple, hence if the voltage changed the 
drop across these two internal circuits 
cf the indicator will change the same 
amount and the ratio of currents is 
unaltered. This means that the in- 
strument is unaffected by voltage va- 
riations. Wave form has but a slight 
effect on the accuracy ; the reactance 
seems to "screen out" the higher har- 
monics to a great extent. In the in- 
stalation of a frequency indicator care 
should be exercised to see that the 
box containing the reactance is 
mounted in a place not subjected to 
stray magnetic fields of much 

Eddy currents set up in various me- 
tallic parts of dynamometer instru- 
ments will not prove serious on high 
power-factors since they are prac- 
tically 90 degrees out of phase with 
the currents in the fixed and moving 
coils. This effect may, however, 

prove seriouse on low power-factors. 
The errors may be eliminated by the 
use of an internal magnetic shield 
since the stray flux from the coils 
which causes the eddy currents in in- 


The use of a permanent magnet 
makes it possible to secure an instru- 
ment of great sensitiveness. In order 
that an alternating-current instru- 
ment be equally as sensitive a strong 
magnetic field is necessary. This is 
possible by the use of the electro-mag- 
net, by the magnetization of iron or 
by induction. The effect of frequency, 
wave form and inductive load varia- 
tions made the design a troublesome 
problem. The methods of overcom- 
ing these difficulties have not only 
been ingenious, but the results very 
satisfactory. Fully as much credit is 
due to those who have developed the 
electromagnetic type of instrument as 
is due the designers of the D'Arson- 
val type. At the present time a very 
large percentage of modern switch- 
board instruments are of the electro- 
magnetic principle of construction. 

The principle is that a piece of iron 
tends to move to the strongest part of 
a magnetic field. The iron may also 
be polarized by induction from a coil 
of wire, in which case if the iron is 
free to move it tends to set itself in 
such a position that it is cut by a min- 
imum number of lines of force. 

Many of these instruments can be 
used with equal satisfaction on both 
alternating and direct-current circuits, 
since their principle of action depends 
upon the magnetization of iron. 

When used on direct current the 
presence of iron is apt to show errors 
due to the effect of hysteresis. These 
erors can be reduced to a minimum 
by designing the instrument so that 
the greater part of the path for the 
magnetic flux lies outside the iron. 
The distance between opposite ends 
or poles of the iron should be as short 
as is consistent, in order that the de- 
magnetizating effect of the ends will 
be a maximum. Working the iron at 
a low density will also reduce the hys- 
teresis errors. 

In order to secure high torque a 
relatively large volume of iron is re- 
quired. This means increased weight 
for the moving element, resulting in 
increase of friction at the bearings. 
If the amount of iron is too small the 
torque is too small and friction errors 
are apt to be more prominent. 

Working the iron at a high density 
to secure high torque tends to saturate 
the iron and the resulting torque is 
closely proportional to the instantane- 
ous values of the current. When the 
iron is operated at a low density the 
torque is apt to be low and approxi- 

June, 1909 



mately proportional to the square of 
the current. 

The magnetizing current is less 
with a peaked wave than with a sine 
wave, hence if the instrument is cal- 
ibrated on a sine wave and then used 
on a peaked wave the indications will 
tend to read high. 

It is oftentimes said that because 
the effect of wave form is present va- 
riations of frequency will also be no- 
ticeable. This does not necessarily 
follow since frequency errors are due 
to self-induction and not to the pres- 
ence of the iron. An instrument cali- 
brated on one wave form will prob- 
ably be unaffected by frequency varia- 
tion if used on this same wave form. 
Frequency variation would doubtless 
introduce errors on a different wave 

Wave-form errors on electromag- 
netic instruments are not at all serious 
and in well-designed types do not ex- 
ceed i per cent. Working the iron at 
a low density may even reduce this 

The fact that the scale follows a 
square law makes it crowded at the 
zero end and open at the upper end. 
The first mark above zero is usually 
about 5 or io per cent, of the full 
scale rating. 

The sensitiveness of the instrument 
is increased by using a control spring, 
slightly weaker than that employed in 
the D'Arsonval instrument. 

The electromagnetic principle is 
generally adopted for ammeters and 
voltmeters, but can be extended to 
wattmeters, power-factor indicators 
and frequency indicators. 


The advantage of the induction 
type instrument is the fact that it pos- 
seses the highest torque and has a 
long scale — 300 degrees can be ob- 
tained without multiplying devices. 

The construction is in some respects 
similar to the ordinary integrating 
watt-hour meter. It consists of a spi- 
rally-shaped aluminum disk mounted 
on the shaft which carries the indi- 
cating needle. The aluminum disk is 
free to rotate in the air gap of an elec- 
tromagnet, the indications being lim- 
ited by a control spring. The electro- 
magnet comprises a core of laminated 
iron punchings on which is mounted 
the winding or magnetizing coils. 
When the magentizing coils are ex- 
cited the flux threading the air gap 
cuts the aluminum disk, inducing 
eddy currents therein. A short cir- 
cuited secondary winding is so 
mounted on the laminated iron core 
as to produce a rotating field. This 
phase displacement of the field pro- 
duces the necessary turning moment 
for the disk. The required rotating 
field is secured by placing a short-cir- 

cuited winding around one-half of 
each pole, thus giving a shaded pole 
effect similar to that employed in an 
alternating-current fan motor. An- 
other method is sometimes employed 
in ammeters. A secondary winding is 
placed next the laminated iron core 
underneath the magnetizing coils and 
connected to some coils wound 
around the pole pieces in such a man- 
ner as to virtually produce a bi-polar 
two-phase motor. This secondary 
winding is short circuited through the 
coils on the pole pieces and compen- 
sates for frequency, wave form and 
temperature variations. 

It will be seen that this latter form 
of construction, if the frequency in- 
creases, the induction will decrease, 
due to the transformer action, thus 
allowing the proper amount of cur- 
rent to flow. The torque and result- 
ing indication of the needle will re- 
main unaffected. 

If the temperature increases, the 
resistance of the secondary winding 
increases, hence the induced voltage 
and induction are proportionately in- 
creased and the necessary compensa- 
tion secured. 

In order to reduce frequency, wave 
form and temperature errors to a 
minimum in the shaded-pole am- 
meter, a non-inductive resistance is 
connected internally across the instru- 
ment terminals, thereby shunting the 
magnetizing coils. The combination 
of the magnetizing coils, which are 
inductive, and the shunt, which is 
non-inductive, produces the desired 
compensation. If the frequency 
should decrease, more current flows 
in the magnetizing coils, thus main- 
taining constant torque and indica- 

To compensate for temperature, the 
shunt resistance has the same tem- 
perature co-efficient as the aluminum 
disk. Suppose the temperature in- 
creases, the torque is correspondingly 
diminished by increased resistance of 
the disk, at the same time, however, 
the drop across the shunt has in- 
creased, thus diminishing the current 
in the shunt and forcing more cur- 
rent through the magnetizing coils 
and maintaining the torque and indi- 
cation constant. 

The voltmeter uses neither the sec- 
ondary winding with its transformer 
effect or the shunt method to com- 
pensate for frequency and tempera- 
ture. This means that if the volt- 
meter has very highly inductive mag- 
netizing coils the torque will varv in- 
versely with the frequency, while if 
the magnetizing coils were highly 
non-inductive resistance, the torque 
would vary directly with the fre- 
quency, but as the magnetizing coils 
of the voltmeter consist of many turns 
of fine wire, they are inductive. By 

inserting a non-inductive resistance of 
proper value in series these two ex- 
treme conditions may be so propor- 
tioned that the effect of frequency 
variation is negligible. By making 
this resistance negative or zero tem- 
perature co-efficient wire tempera- 
ture errors are avoided. 

The simplicity of construction, high 
torque and long scale are features 
which appeal to central-station at- 
tendant^, causing the induction in- 
strument to come more into the favor 
of instrument users. 

The instrument is not limited to 
ammeters and voltmetrs, but is al- 
ready applied to single-phase and 
polyphase wattmeters, frequency in- 
dicators, power-factor indicators and 
synchronism indicators. While some 
of the errors and the energy con- 
sumption are a trifle larger than in 
the dynamometer type of instrument, 
the sacrifice in accuracy is so slight 
that it is warranted in securing high 
torque, excellent scale and dead-beat 
qualities. The frequency errors 
should not exceed 4 per cent, for ordi- 
nary changes of frequency, and the 
temperature error should be within 
1 per cent, per degree centigrade. 

Since the torque is proportional to 
the square of the current in ammeters 
and voltmeters, an evenly-divided 
scale is secured by making the alumi- 
num disk spiral in shape, rather than 
a perfect circle, the shortest radius of 
the spiral coming at full scale. 

News Notes 
At the annual meeting of the Phila- 
delphia Electrical Contractors' Asso- 
ciation, the following officers were 
elected : President, Clayton W. Pike ; 
Vice-President, Benjamin L. Cates; 
Treasurer, M. E. Arnold ; Secretary, 
M. G. Sellers. 

The Pennyslvania Electric Assn. 
will hold its annual convention at 
Eagles Mere, Pa., September 8-10. 

An offer of $430,000 by Herbert 
Lloyd, president of the Electric Stor- 
age Battery Co., K. B. Schley and 
C. W. Woodward for the Electric 
Vehicle Co., has been allowed by U. S. 
Judge Rellstab. The concern was 
capitalized at $20,000,000. 

The American Street Railway As- 
sociation will hold its annual con- 
vention at Denver, October 4-8, in- 
stead of October 18-22, as at first an- 

Standard Underground Cable Com- 
pany, Pittsburgh, Pa., announces that 
it will remove its San Francisco office 
from the Shreve Building to the First 
National Bank Building, on June 15. 

The Regenerative Flame Lamp 


The trend of flame-arc improve- 
ments is principally in the direction 
of longer carbon life, a very essential 
requisite to the ultimate scheme of 
utilizing this type of lamp for high- 
way lighting. Since there must be a 
limit to the physical proportions of 
any lamp, the length of carbons is 
necessarily governed by these limita- 
tions, and, to compensate for this 
drawback, the manufacturers of some 
of the converging-carbon type of 
flame lamps have made a virtue of ne- 
cessity by utilizing the multi-carbon 
or magazine scheme to secure pro- 
longed life. The objections to this 
construction are so obvious, however, 
as hardly to merit a serious considera- 
tion of their possible adoption.* 

The deposits of scoria or slag from 
the impregnated carbons caused what 
appeared to be an insurmountable 
barrier to their use in a vertical or 
co-axial position, hence the adoption 
of the converging arrangement, with 
carbons of small diameter, positive 
being 9 mm. or eleven thirty-seconds 
of an inch, and negative 8 mm. Flame 
lamps designed for the use of vertical 
carbons of the impregnated type made 
their appearance as early as 1901, the 
most notable being that of Andre 
Blondel. The prevention of scoria de- 
posits in these lamps is accomplished 
in a more or less satisfactory manner 
by having the lower or mineralized 
carbon positive, and the upper or neg- 
ative pencil composed of practically 
pure carbon, further assisted by a 
strong current of air to carry away 
the deposits while in a gaseous state. 
The inherent objection of short life, 
however, still exists, and this form 
of construction precludes, we believe, 
the adoption of the magazine feature. 

In the regenerative flame lamp the 
electrodes are placed vertically and in 
axial alignment, the lower being the 
positive and containing the light-pro- 
ducing salts, while the upper is prin- 
cipally pure carbon. The composition 
of the lower electrode is similar to 
that used in other flame arcs, consist- 
ing of a body of pure carbon, in com- 
bination with calcium fluorine salts. 

The high luminous efficiency of im- 
pregnated carbons used in the verti- 
cal position was demonstrated in tests 
with the Blondel lamp for the New 
York Edison Company. With a cur- 
rent of 3 amperes and arc voltage 
of 50.3 the mean hemispherical can- 
dle was 790, or 0.191 watt per candle. 
With 5 amperes and 50.3 volts the 
mean hem ispherical value was 1883 

*N. E. L. A., 1909. 

candles, or 0.133 watt per candle. 
These readings were taken without 
globes. The regenerative lamp shows 
sn even higher luminous flux, as the 
following comparative values of dif- 
ferent lamps indicate. This remark- 
able efficiency is due apparently to 
two potential factors. The first is 
the design of the lower or mineralized 
carbon. Contrary to the usual prac- 
tice of constructing this with an outer 
wall of carbon and core of light-pro- 



ducing salts, the centre is of pure car- 
bon and of fluted or star-shaped sec- 
tions, with the spaces between ridges 
filled to the outer edges with the fluor- 
ine salts, producing a finished shape 
which is really octagonal in cross-sec- 
tion, and about 0.875 in. on the larg- 
est diameter. This allows a ready dis- 
integration and free volatilization of 
the metallic salts, and the almost com- 
plete elimination of scoria deposits on 
either electrodes. The upper is round 
in cross-section and 0.625 in. in diam- 

The second factor is the regener- 
ative feature of this lamp. Unlike 
other flame lamps of the vertical-car- 
bon type, which allows for escape of 
the gaseous products of combustion 
although the heavier elements are 

sometimes intercepted and held by 
screens and other devices, this lamp 
retains the efflorescence of the car- 
bons (Fig. 1), which passes into an 
upper chamber above the inner globe 
and from there through side tubes or 
conductors to the bottom of the globe. 
In their passage through the side 
tubes the temperature of the gases is 
materially lowered, resulting in the 
less volatile elements settling on the 
side walls, while the lighter gases are 
returned into the arc chamber and 
again mix with the up draft passing 
through the arc. By the establish- 
ment of a steady and uniform current 
of inflammable gases, with moderate 
velocity, entering the flame at high 
temperature, an extremely steady and 
highly efficient arc is constantly main- 

The characteristics of mineralized 
or impregnated carbon arcs were ful- 
ly described in a paper by Mr. L. B. 
Marks, read at the convention of the 
N. E. L. A. in 1906, in which he ex- 
plained the necessity, with vertical 
electrodes co-axially arranged, to 
have the mineralized (or impreg- 
nated) carbon below, and forming the 
positive pole, in order that the vapor 
of the metallic salts, which produce 
the bulk of the light, may travel up- 
ward and become highly incandescent 
between the carbon tips. 

In the regenerative lamp the in- 
trinsic brilliancy is accentuated and 
a better distribution secured by the 
unusual length of the arc, being nom- 
inally from 0.75 in. to 1.00 in. with a 
difference of potential of 70 volts. • 

By reference to the photometric 
curves it will be readily seen that the 
angle of maximum intensity with re- 
flector removed very nearly approach- 
es that of the direct-current enclosed- 
carbon arc. This will, of course, prove 
a strong factor in the possible adop- 
tion of this lamp for street lighting, 
with particular reference to business 
thoroughfares in the larger cities. 

Lamps of the converging-carbon 
type have been barred from this class 
of lighting, at least in this country, 
largely on account of the unfavorable 

Not only does the regenerative 
lamp approach the carbon arc in dis- 
tribution, but it becomes its counter- 
part in size of unit, being almost 
equivalent in 'Current consumption to 
the direct-current type operating at 
5 to 5.5 amperes, or 400 to 440 watts, 
and the alternating-current type at 6 
to 6.5 amperes, or 450 to 490 watts 
at the arc, with a ratio of about 5 to 1 


June, 1909 



in luminous efficiency in favor of the 
regenerative lamp. 

Two attributes of the carbon arc 
that assisted largely in their replace- 
ment of the old open arcs are pos- 
sessed by this lamp, namely — favor- 
able distribution of the light flux, and 
long carbon life, combined with a lu- 
minous efficiency that neither of them 
possessed, and thus forming a most 
ideal combination for a street-lighting 

The nearest approach in luminous 
power, measured in watts per candle, 
to the flame arcs, is the metallic elec- 
trode or luminous lamp, which, oper- 
ating at 4 amperes and consuming 300 
watts, gives a maximum illumination 
of about 1200 candle-power, or 650 
mean hemispherical candle-power, 
showing an efficiency of 0.46 watt per 

The mean hemispherical candle- 
power of the regenerative lamp, cal- 
culated from the curves shown here- 
with (Figs. 2 and 3), is 1340, or 0.26 
watt per candle. These figures, of 
course, apply to curves taken with 
opalescent globe. The total light flux 
produced by the electrodes is greatly 
in excess of these values, but much 
of this is lost through the absorption 
of the opalescent glass, while in the 
case of the luminous arc lamp the val- 
ues given represent practically its 

that the regenerative lamp is equipped 
with both an inner and outer globe, 
the outer being opalescent (Fig. 4). 
In Mr. W. D. Ryan's report on 
specifications for street lighting, sub- 
mitted at the last convention of the 
N. E. L. A., he established an X-value 
of 5.5 for 4-ampere series luminous 
arcs, as against 4 for series direct- 
current 9.6 open and 6.6 enclosed and 
3.5 for series direct-current 6.6 open 
and 5-ampere enclosed. At a dis- 

ks high candle-power and excellent 
distribution. Such authorities as Dr. 
Louis Bell and others maintain that 
for a certain class of streets light 
units of low intensity and placed suf- 
ficiently near together to produce a 
moderate but uniform illumination 
are much preferable to units of high 
intensity placed at street intersections 
and averaging four or five hundred 
feet apart. In lighting streets of the 
first class, or business thoroughfares, 
however, brilliancy is the chief con- 
sideration, with a due regard for the 
question of maintenance charges. Had 
human labor and mineralized (or im- 
pregnated) carbons been on a par in 
this country with the prices prevailing 
in Europe, we should probably not 
have been so far behind our German 
cousins in utilizing the flame lamp for 
this class of lighting, although, as pre- 
viously stated, the unsatisfactory dis- 
tribution has militated strongly 
against its adoption, in addition to the 
prohibitive cost of the carbons and 

The subject of flame arcs has been 
so comprehensively treated by Mr. L. 
B. Marks that any attempt on the 
part of the writer to expatiate on the 


G — Regenerative Arc, Direct Current, 7 Amperes, 490 Watts, 2780 Hemispherical Candle-Power, with Outer 

Globe Removed 
// — Ordinary Flame Arc, Direct Current, 10 Amperes, 500 Watts, 3150 Hemispherical Candle-Power, without 

J — Regenerative Flame Arc, Direct Current, 5 Amperes, 350 Watts, 1690 Hemispherical Candle-Power, with 

Outer Globe Removed 

tance of 250 feet from the light unit 
the illumination from the luminous 
arc is 0.007 foot-candle, while the re- 
generative lamp, which should be en- 
titled to an X-value of II, would at 
the same distance give an illumination 
of 0.0307 foot-candle, or about 75 
per cent, more light than the lumi- 
nous arc. 

While these comparative data, 
showing the relative value of different 
units for street lighting, and the re- 
markable advancement in the art, are 
interesting, from the fact that they 
are a most substantial reflex of the 
indefatigable zeal and intelligent re- 


A — Regenerative Flame Arc, Direct Current, 5 Amperes, 350 Watts, 1340 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Opal" 
escent Outer Globe 

B — Ordinary Flame Arc, Direct Current, 10 Amperes, 500 Watts, 1070 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Opales- 
cent Outer Globe 

C— Open Arc, Direct Current, 9.6 Amperes, 480 Watts, 880 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Clear Globe 

D — Series Enclosed Arc, Direct Current, 6.6 Amperes, 480 Watts, 540 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Opales- 
cent Inner Globe 

E — Series Enclosed Arc, Alternating Current, 6.6 Amperes, 425 Watts, 390 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Opal- 
escent Inner Globe 

F — Multiple Enclosed Arc, Direct Current, 5 Amperes, 400 Watts, 250 Hemispherical Candle-Power, Opales- 
cent Inner Globe 

maximum efficiency, as the standard 
equipment consists of only one globe, 
and this is invariably of clear glass, at 
least on street-lighting circuits. The 
curves for both regenerative and flame 
arcs with globes removed are shown 

It might be well to explain here 

search of those to whom we are in- 
debted for these remarkable achieve- 
ments, in the perfection of such high- 
ly efficient light mediums, it is not the 
intent of the writer, nor the desire of 
the manufacturers of this lamp, to 
advocate its indiscriminate use for 
street lighting simply on account of 

subject, beyond a few necessary com- 
parisons, might unwittingly lead to a 
perversion of facts. 

We will take the liberty, however, 
of using his tables showing compara- 
tive cost of carbons and maintenance 
between carbon arcs and flame arcs, 
both on street circuit burning 4000 
hours and commercial circuit burning 
1000 hours, substituting the regener- 
ative lamp for the flame arc. 

4000 HOURS 

Two One 

Enclosed Regenerative 

Arcs Lamp 

Carbons $2.68 $28.50 

Trimming 2 . 34 1 . 28 

Repairs 1.50 0.75 

Inspection ... 0.90 0.45 

Inner globes 0.(^0 0.30 

Outer globes 0.30 0.15 

$8.50 $31.43 

It has been assumed in the above 
table that one regenerative lamp can 
replace two enclosed arcs. The cost 
of carbons for the regenerative has 
been estimated at 50 cents a trim, and 
for the enclosed arcs at 2.75 cents per 

1000 HOURS 

Enclosed Arc Regenerative 

Carbons $0,275 $7.12 

Trimming 0.225 0.32 

Repairs 0.75 0.75 

Inspection . 45 . 45 

Inner globes 0.15 0.15 

Outer globes 0.15 0.15 

. — j . 

$2.00 $8.94 



June, 1909 

Assuming the cost of current at 2 
cents per kw-hr., the total cost for 
operating two series enclosed arcs 
(500 watts) for 4000 hours would be 
$80 as against $30 for one regenera- 
tive (375 watts) lamp, and the total 
relative amounts for both mainte- 
nance and current $88.50 and $61.43 
respectively, showing a gain in favor 
of the regenerative lamp of $27.07, 
or figuring on the basis of lamp for 
lamp, a difference of $17.18 in favor 
of the enclosed arc; but the regener- 
ative easily redeems itself in a com- 
parison of costs per hemispherical 
candle-power. Taking this at 1340 
gives 0.045 cent per hemispherical 
candle-power and 10 cents for the 
carbon arc, taking the candle-power 
at 440. 

In a comparison of values between 
lamps on the commercial circuit we 



have considered the actual consump- 
tion at the arc, current in both cases 
being 5 amperes and voltage of car- 
bon arc 80, regenerative lamp 70. At 
2 cents per kilowatt-hour the cost for 
1000 hours is $8.00 and $7.00 respect- 
ively, or total costs for current and 
maintenance $10 and $15.94; but 
where lamps are intended for inte- 
rior use, and for such purposes as 
lighting mills, factories, halls, or for 
railroad stations, where a more or less 
concentrated light is preferable, the 
lamp can be fitted with suitable re- 
flector, and, with a proper elevation 
above the floor line, one regenerative 
lamp will easily replace from three to 
four enclosed arcs and, on account of 
the penetrating nature of the ray, give 
more effective illumination. Estima- 
ting conservatively and placing the 
ratio at 3 to 1, a saving of $14.06 per 
1000 hours is shown in favor of the 
regenerative lamp. 

The predominance of the orange or 

yellow ray in mineralized carbons 
opens up an extensive field of useful- 
ness for lamps designed to utilize 
these carbons in an economical and ef- 
ficient manner. The power of this 
ray to penetrate smoke and fog is 
well known, and is exemplified by the 
sun on a very hazy day, when only the 
red and yellow rays penetrate the 
smoky atmosphere, the violet and 
green rays being entirely absorbed 
and therefore rendered useless. This 
is an unfortunate characteristic of the 
carbon arc, which is very forcibly 
demonstrated under similar conditions 
at night, due to the predominance of 
the violet and blue rays. While these 
advantages are manifest for street- 
lighting units, they should appeal 
with special force to those active in 
the sphere of marine lighting, an il- 
luminant of equal power under all 
conditions of weather being of prime 
importance in lighthouses and search- 
light work. 

In foundries, blacksmith and large 
erecting shops, where the presence of 
traveling cranes often necessitates the 
location of the lighting units at an ex- 
treme height from the floors, a good 
downward illumination can be se- 
cured where it is most needed by the 
workmen, and one not materially af- 
fected by the presence of smoke or 
dust in the shop. 

A word in regard to the mechanical 
details of the Regenerative lamp may 
prove of interest before bringing this 
paper to its close. 

The sectional view (Figure 6) 
shown herewith of the multiple direct- 
current lamp gives a good idea of its 
general construction. The overall 
length is 36 inches, and weight about 
40 pounds. The movement in both the 
multiple alternating and direct-cur- 
rent lamp consists of one coarse wire 
solenoid with an armature of special 
iron laminated in the alternating 
lamp; an equalizing lever, encircling 
the centre tube and pivoted on same, 
connected at its opposite end to dash- 
pot, which is rather larger than usual, 
and equipped with metal plunger, 
having a ball-and-socket connection to 
stem. The clutch and lifting rods are 
of standard design. 

In the alternating-current lamp a 
coil spring is interposed between ar- 
mature and equalizing lever, to ab- 
sorb current vibrations. 

Connection to upper carbon is made 
through a coiled flexible copper cable 
contained in the carbon tube. The 
lamp mechanism is enclosed in a 
heavy sheet-copper case and well pro- 
tected from the weather, as well as 
from the gaseous products of the arc. 

The circulating chamber with side 
tubes is plainly shown in Fig. 5. The 
gases pass into this through the top 
of the inner globe and, becoming 

heavier from cooling, fall to the bot- 
tom of side tubes, at the same time 
depositing a large portion of the 
heavier elements on the tube walls 
and lower portion ; the gases re-enter 
globe at lower end and, being drawn 
upward by the heat of the arc, repeat 
the cycle of operation. Outside air 
can not enter the inner globe, and 
only to a very limited extent the outer 

At the end of a 70-hour run there 
is a very slight efflorescence on the 




upper end only of the inner globe, but 
not sufficient to intercept the hori- 
zontal and downward rays or cause 
any perceptible dimming of the light. 
The lamp is trimmed in a similar 
way to the ordinary carbon arcs, with 
closed-base inner and open-base outer 
globe. The lower, removable section 
of the circulating chamber serves as a. 

June, 1909 



base for the inner globe, and the two 
are removed together, as well as the 
lower carbon, which is held by a 
thumbscrew and clamp to the remov- 
able section. The outer globe re- 
mains in position. 

The equipment of the .lamp includes 
an external steadying resistance in a 
separate case or jacket, which can be 
connected in the line and placed where 
most convenient. The 220-volt lamps 
are designed to operate two in series, 
with sufficient resistance in one 
jacket. These are identical in con- 
struction with the 110-volt lamps, ex- 
cept for the addition of a shunt coil, 
which is designed to encircle the dash- 
pot, this being made of smaller 
diameter to allow the necessary space 
for winding. 

It is the purpose of the manufac- 
turers to supply the regenerative lamp 
for straight series lighting, at least on 
direct-current circuits, and probably 
for alternating-current, if the results 
of the experimental work now under 
way justify their entering the field. 

The perfection of the regenerative 
lamp, as we find it to-day, marks a 
new era in the lighting art, or at least 
that section of it devoted to the de- 
velopment of high-efficiency arc 
lamps, whose prestige as the most ef- 
ficient of light-producing Units was in 
danger of becoming seriously im- 
paired by the increasing popularity 
and high efficiency of the tungsten- 
filament lamp. 

Smokeless Comimstion of Coal in 
Boiler Plants 

A bulletin on the smokeless combus- 
tion of coal in boiler plants with a 
chapter on central heating plants will 
soon be issued by the United States 
Geological Survey, Technologic 
Branch, giving in detail a study of the 
conditions found in industrial estab- 
lishments in thirteen of the largest 
cities of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, 
Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New 
York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, be- 
tween 400 and 500 plants having been 
inspected. Sufficient information was 
collected to make the data from 284 
plants of value for this report. 

The bulletin, prepared by D. T. 
Randall and H. W. Weeks, not only 
shows that bituminous coals high in 
volatile matter can be burned without 
smoke, but also that large plants car- 
rying loads that fluctuate widely, 
where boilers over banked fires must 
be put into service quickly and fires 
forced to the capacity of their units 
can be operated without producing 
smoke that is objectionable. Proper 
equipment, efficient labor, and intelli- 
gent supervision are the necessary 

The burning of coal without smoke 

is a problem which concerns the gov- 
ernment directly because of the ad- 
vantages of smokeless combustion both 
in public buildings and on naval ves- 
sels. In addition, smoke abatement is 
a factor in conserving the fuel re- 
sources of the United States, hence, as 
a part of its general investigation of 
the best methods of utilizing the coals 
of this country, the United States Geo- 
logical Survey has made extended tests 
to determine the conditions necessary 
for the smokeless combustion of bi- 
tuminous coal in boiler plants. 

The general conclusions of Messrs. 
Randall and Weeks are as follows : 

Smoke prevention is possible. There 
are many types of furnaces and stok- 
ers that are operated smokelessly. 

Credit is to be given to any one kind 
of apparatus only in so far as the 
manufacturers require that it shall be 
so set under boilers that the principles 
of combustion are respected. The 
value of this requirement to the aver- 
age purchaser lies in the fact that he 
is thus reasonably certain of good in- 
stallation. A good stoker or furnace 
poorly set is of less value than a poor 
stoker or furnace well set. Good in- 
stallation of furnace equipment is nec- 
essary for smoke prevention. 

Stokers or furnaces must be set so 
that combustion will be complete be- 
fore the gases strike the heating sur- 
face of the boiler. When partly burned 
gases at a temperature of, say, 2500 
F., strike the tubes of a boiler at, say, 
350 F., combustion is necessarily 
hindered and may be entirely arrested. 
The length of time required for the 
gases to pass from the coal to the , 
heating surface probably averages 
considerably less than one second, a 
fact which shows that the gases and 
air must be intimately mixed when 
large volumes of gas are distilled, as 
at times of hand-firing, or the gas 
must be distilled uniformly, as in a 
mechanical stoker. By adding mixing 
structures to a mechanical stoker 
equipment both the amount of air re- 
quired for combustion and the distance 
from the grates to the heating surface 
may be reduced for the same capacity 
developed. The necessary air supply 
can also be reduced by increasing the 
rate of combustion. 

No one type of stoker is equally 
valuable for burning all kinds of coal. 
The plant which has an equipment 
properly designed to burn the cheapest 
coal available will evaporate water at 
the least cost. 

Although hand-fired furnaces can 
be operated without objectionable 
smoke, the fireman is so variable a 
factor that the ultimate solution of the 
problem depends on the mechanical 
stoker — in other words, the personal 
element must be eliminated. There is 
no hand-fired furnace from which, un- 

der average conditions, as good results 
can be obtained as from many differ- 
ent patterns of mechanical stoker ; and 
of two equipments the one which will 
require the less attention from the fire- 
man gives the better results. The most 
economical hand-fired plants are those 
that approach most nearly to the con- 
tinuous feed of the mechanical stoker. 
The small plant is no longer de- 
pendent on hand-fired furnaces, as 
certain types of mechanical stokers 
can be installed under a guaranty of 
high economy, with reduction of labor 
for the fireman. 

In short, smoke prevention is both 
possible and economical. 

During 1904 to 1906 coals from all 
parts of the United States were burned 
at the Government Fuel Testing Plant 
at St. Louis, in furnaces which were 
in the main of the same design. Most 
of the tests were made on a hand-fired 
furnace under a Heine water-tube 
boiler. The lower row of tubes of the 
boiler supported a tile roof for the 
furnace, giving the gas from the coal 
a travel of about 12 feet before com- 
ing into contact with the boiler sur- 
face. This furnace is more favorable 
to complete combustion than those in- 
stalled in the average plant. A num- 
ber of coals were burned in this fur- 
nace with little or no smoke, but many 
coals could not be burned without 
making smoke that would violate a 
reasonable city ordinance when the 
boiler was run at or above its normal 
rated capacity. 

In 1907, the steaming section of the 
St. Louis plant was moved to Norfolk, 
Va., where subsequent tests of this 
nature were made. The plant at Nor- 
folk was equipped with two furnaces 
— one fired by hand and the other by 
a mechanical stoker. 

In the course of the steaming tests 
some special smoke tests were made 
and the influence of various features 
in smoke production was noted. As 
the tests were made as far as possible 
under standard conditions with a min- 
imum variation in boiler-room labor 
the results bring out the importance of 
other factors such as character of fuel 
and furnace design. 

A brief summary of the general 
conclusion is as follows : 

A well-designed and operated fur- 
nace will burn many coals without 
smoke up to a certain number of 
pounds per hour, the rate varying with 
different coals, depending on their 
chemical composition, If more than 
this amount is burned, the efficiency 
will decrease and smoke will be made, 
owing to the lack of furnace capacity 
to supply air and mix gases. 

High volatile matter in the coal 
gives low efficiency and vice versa. 
The highest efficiency was obtained 
when the furnace was run at low 



June, 1909 

capacity. When the furnace was 
forced the efficiency decreased. 

With a hand-fired furnace the best 
results were obtained when firing was 
done most frequently, with the small- 
est charge. 

Small sizes of coal burned with less 
smoke than large sizes, but developed 
lower capacities. 

Peat, lignite and subbituminous coal 
burned readily in the type of tile- 
roofed furnace used and developed the 
rated capacity with practically no 

Coals which smoked badly gave ef- 
ficiencies 3 to 5 per cent, lower than 
the coals burning with little smoke. 

Briquets were found to be an excel- 
lent form for using slack coal in a 
hand-fired plant. They can be burned 
at a fairly rapid rate of combustion 
with good efficiency and with prac- 
tically no smoke. High-volatile coals 
are perhaps as valuable when bri- 
quetted as low-volatile coals. 

A comparison of tests on the same 
coal washed and unwashed showed 
that under the same conditions the 
washed coal burned much more rap- 
idly than the raw coal, thus developing 
high rated capacities. In the average 
hand-fired furnace washed coal burns 
with lower efficiency and makes more 
smoke than raw coal. Moreover, 
washed coal offers a means of run- 
ning at high capacity, with good effi- 
ciency, in a well-designed furnace. 

Forced draft did not- burn coal any 
more efficiently than natural draft. It 
supplied enough air for high rates for 
combustion, but as the capacity of the 
boiler increased the efficiency de- 
creased and the percentage of black 
smoke increased. 

Most coals that do not clinker ex- 
cessively can be burned with i to 5 
per cent, greater efficiency and with a 
smaller percentage of black smoke on 
a rocking grate than on a flat grate. 

•Air admitted freely at firing and for 
a short period thereafter increases ef- 
ficiency and reduces smoke. ' 

As the CO in the fuel increases the 
black smoke increases; the percentage 
of CO in the flue gas is therefore, in 
general, a good guide to efficient op- 
eration. However, owing to the diffi- 
culty of determining this factor, com- 
bustion cannot be regulated by it. 

The simplest guide to good opera- 
tion is pounds of coal burned per 
square foot of grate surface per hour. 

None of the problems of combustion 
have received more experimental 
treatment than the burning of coal in 
hand-fired furnaces. Hundreds of de- 
vices for smokeless combustion have 
been patented but almost without ex- 
ception they have proved failures. 
This record may be explained by the 
fact that many of the patentees have 
been unfamiliar with all the difficulties 

to be overcome, or have begun at the 
wrong end. Numerous patents cover 
such processes as causing the waste 
gases to re-enter the furnace, and 
schemes for collecting and burning the 
soot are legion. So many manufac- 
turers who have been looking for some 
cheap addition to a poorly constructed 
furnace to make it smokeless have ex- 
perienced inevitable failure that the 
work of educating the public to rid 
cities of the smoke nuisance has been 
hard, long, and only partly successful. 

The total number of steam plants 
having boilers fired by hand is far 
greater than the total of plants with 
mechanical stokers, but if the com- 
parison is based on total horse power 
developed the figures show less differ- 
ence. Particularly is this true in sec- 
tions of the Central West, where me- 
chanical stokers are generally used at 
large plants. As a general rule, hand- 
fired plants do not have proper fur- 
naces, and methods of operation are 
far from conducive to good combus- 
tion. Coal is usually fired in large 
quantities, and little opportunity is 
given for the air and gases to mix be- 
fore the heating surface is reached and 
combustion is arrested. In all the 
hand-fired plants visited success in 
smoke prevention has been obtained 
chiefly by careful firing. The coal 
was thrown on often in small quan- 
tities ; the fire was kept clean, enough 
ash to prevent the passage of air 
through the fire never being allowed 
to collect on the grate ; and more air 
was supplied at firing than after the 
volatile matter had been distilled. 
Even with such precautions the plants 
might have made objectionable smoke 
at times but for the fact that usually 
some method was employed for mix- 
ing the gases and air before they 
reached the heating surface. 

Some general conclusions from the 
facts set forth in the bulletin are as 
follows : 

The flame and the distilled gases 
should not be allowed to come into 
contact with the boiler surfaces until 
combustion is complete. 

Fire-brick furnaces of sufficient 
length and a continuous or nearly con- 
tinuous supply of coal and air to the 
fire make it possible to burn most coals 
efficiently and without smoke. 

Coals containing a large percentage 
of tar and heavy hydro-carbons are 
difficult to burn without smoke and re- 
quire special furnaces and more than 
ordinary care in firing. 

Briquets are suitable for use under 
power-plant conditions when burned 
in a reasonably good furnace at the 
temperatures at which such furnaces 
are usually operated. In such fur- 
naces briquets generally give better re- 
sults than the same coal burned raw. 

In ordinary boiler furnaces only 

coals high in fixed carbon can be 
burned without smoke, except by ex- 
pert firemen using more than ordinary 
care in firing. 

Combinations of boiler-room equip- 
ment suitable for nearly all power- 
plant conditions can be selected, and 
can be operated without objectionable 
smoke when reasonable care is exer- 

Of the existing plants some can be 
remodeled to advantage. Others can 
not, but must continue to burn coals 
high in fixed carbon or to burn other 
coals with inefficient results, accom- 
panied by more or less annoyance from 
smoke. In these cases a new, well- 
designed plant is the only solution of 
the difficulty. 

Large plants are for obvious reasons 
usually operated more economically 
than small ones, and the increasing 
growth of central plants offers a solu- 
tion of the problem of procuring heat 
and power at a reasonable price and 
without annoyance from smoke. 

The increasing use of coke from by- 
product coke plants in sections where 
soft coal was previously used, the use 
of gas for domestic purposes, and the 
purchase of heat from a central plant 
in business and residence sections all 
have their influence in making possible 
a clean and comfortable city. 

Dossert & Company, 242 West 41st 
Street, New York, report having re- 
ceived the following large orders dur- 
ing the current week : From the Com- 
pagnie Egyptienne Thomson-Houston, 
Cairo, Egypt, 500 cable taps and 500 
back connection lugs ; from the West- 
ern Electric Company for shipment to 
Johannesburg, South Africa, 300 
front-connection lugs, 200 two-ways, 
100 three-wavd and 100 cable taps ; 
from the United Electric Light & 
Power Company, 2000 flat-shank ter- 
minal lugs for service cut-outs. 

B. Elshoff, for 14 years assistant 
superintendent of the Allis-Chalmers- 
Bullock Co., of Cincinnati, and for the 
past two years superintendent of the 
electrical department of the Allis- 
Chalmers Co., of Milwaukee, has re- 
cently severed his connection with the 
last-named company. Mr. Elshoff may 
eventually accept a position with an 
Eastern firm, but for the present will 
remain in Milwaukee. 

The Anderson Porcelain Company, 
01 East Liverpool, Ohio, have an- 
nounced to the trade their appoint- 
ment of the Campbell-Stagg Company, 
of New York, as Eastern sales repre- 

General Electric Company, Sche- 
nectadv, N. Y., advises that its Mon- 
tana office was moved to a new loca- 
tion in the Phoenix Building, Butte, 
on June 1. 

The Practical Aspects of Recent Improvements 

in Transformers 


All members of this Association 
are aware that a very great advance 
has been made during the last few 
years in the design and performance 
of static transformers. The purpose 
of this paper is to point out the way 
in which some of these improvements 
have been secured, as well as to call 
attention to some of the dangers in- 
volved in pursuing the possibilities of 
the present art to too great extremes. 
Much of this progress has been the 
result of a continuous, and, recently, 
•quite sharp improvement in the mag- 
netic quality of sheet steel.* 

On this particular subject a great 
deal of conflicting and confusing 
trade literature has been published. 
The latest quality of transformer steel 
has been exploited under the various 
advertising names of silicon steel, al- 
loy steel, silico-vanadium, and the 
like, with claims of individuality for 
each. The substantial fact is that 
these names are synonymous. They 
all refer to a quality of material in 
which the percentage of silicon has 
been greatly increased over that previ- 
ously prevailing in the art. In chemi- 
cal composition, the best material, as 
commonly employed in use to-day, 
shows the following analysis : 

New Steel Old Steel 

Combined carbon 0.07 0.08 

Manganese 0.17 . 24 

Sulphur 0.023 0.05 

Silicon 3.70 0.094 

Aluminum 1.314 0.05 

It has been known from a very 
early date in the history of commer- 
cial transformers that silicon im- 
proves the quality of steel for trans- 
former purposes, and some of the 
early technical writers explained the 
non-aging quality of impure steels, as 
compared with the pure, on the score 
of the presence of appreciable quanti- 
ties of silicon. Manufacturing diffi- 
culties are said to have held back a 
quality of steel with as much as 3 per 
cent, of silicon until about two years 
ago, when European mills began pro- 
ducing successfully this high silicon 
material and very quickly its manu- 
facture began here. 

The iffiult of this change in chemi- 
cal composition, together with special 
heat treatment at the hands of the 
manufacturer of the steel, has resulted 
in this marked improvement in the 
magnetic quality. It will be seen by 
reference to Fig. 1 that the improve- 
ment in internal energy losses of this 
material as compared with the old is, 
on the average, about 25 per cent. 

It immediately follows that trans- 

*N.E.L.A. 1909. 

formers designed with this new mate- 
rial will differ greatly from former 
types. If the weight is left the same 
performance will be greatly improved. 
If performance remains unchanged 
the weight is largely reduced. Be- 
tween these extremes there is a wide 
range of combinations of somewhat 
reduced weights, with gains also in 

-J- ' Z 





1 -i 


- t 



o 7: 

: 7 



e $1 



7 X 


J Z _ 

3 -+—,£- 


\ ^ 


• ' 3 4 6 e 7 a 9 10 II 12 IS 14 



Manufacturers at the present time 
are compromising between the two 
extremes and building transformers 
lessened somewhat in weight, but sub- 
stantially improved in performance. 
The weight feature of present designs, , 
as compared with those of earlier date, 
is shown in Fig. 2. 

A comparison of core losses of the > 
latest high-efficiency types of the lead- 
ing manufacturers, and like charac-» 
teristics Of the same makes as of fives 
years ago, is illustrated in Fig. 3. A I 
similar comparison of copper losses ap-? 
pears in Fig. 4. It naturally follows 1 
that this large reduction in both iron 
and copper losses results in greatly im- 
proved efficiency of the apparatus. 

Another great advantage of this new 
steel, as compared with former grades, 
lies in the matter of aging. All manu- 
facturers in employing the earlier 
grades of material were aware that 
even the best qualities were subject to 
very considerable differences in the 
matter of aging characteristics. 
Some shipments would not age, 
while others would show considerable 
deterioration even at low temperature. 
This new material seems uniformly 
to be practically non-aging. Numer- 
ous tests show a tendency toward a 

gradual reduction of core loss under 
the usual operating temperatures, 
rather than an increase. 

The cost of transformers, un- 
fortunately, does not show the same 
reduction, due to the fact that the 
new steel costs several times as much 
as the earlier material. Whether this 
large increase in cost of material 
will undergo a sharp reduction as 
the mills become familiar with it and 
develop new processes of manufac- 
ture, remains to be seen. The as- 
sertion is made by the makers that 
present processes of manufacture are 
sufficiently more complicated and ex- 
pensive to justify the high prices at 
which the steel is sold. The market 
price of transformers, therefore, has 
not been substantially modified by the 
advent of this new steel, and if busi- 
ness conditions were now normal it is 
probable the cost of this apparatus 
to central stations would be materially 
greater than it is at present. The de- 
mand for high efficiencies constantly 
prevails, and it is probable that the 
actual cost of some existing high- 
grade transformers is in excess of that 
prevailing before this new material 
was introduced, even though the 
physical dimensions of the trans- 
formers may have been considerably 

It is not possible in the time allotted 
this paper to cover the subject ex- 
haustively. It is hoped, however, that 










t. , 



























2 TO 

82 SQ 40 



the points touched upon may prove 
of some suggestive value. Before 
passing to other phases of this devel- 
opment, the author will perhaps be 
pardoned if he indicates lines along 
which caution should be exercised ; 
or, in other words, the abuse that may 
be made of this new material. 

It is indicated above in general 




June, 1909 

terms that with judicious use the per- 
formance may be bettered, the weight 
reduced, or a little of both. It is also 
possible with this new steel to produce 
a much cheaper article. If the trans- 

50 per cent. In a few alleged in- 
stances of rejection this has run as 
high as 100 per cent, of full-load cur- 
rent. Of course, no reputable manu- 
facturer intentionally put out any 

former be designed for a density of such grade of apparatus, and probably 

nothing of this kind is being manu- 
factured in the United States at the 
present time. However, the elimina- 
tion of leakage current is worthy of 
the central station man's attention, as 
transformers may be suplied with low 
losses and still have very high leakage 

At this point it may be of interest 
to note just what the improvement in 
performance characteristics of two or 
three sizes of distributing transform- 
ers amounts to in dollars and cents. 
This is shown in tabulated form, as 
follows : 


S '" 

I "* 


















' J 









- ' 










2 a e s 

divide their load in the inverse ratio 
of their impedance. Manufacturers 
could, therefore, with advantage to 
the central station, publish in their 
tables of data the impedance of their 
standard sizes. With this informa- 
tion before him, the user could defin- 
itely determine the division of load 
under parallel operation of different 
sizes or different makes. Those with 
the same percentage impedance will 
divide the load in proportion to their 
kilowatt capacity. 

In the light of present-day possi- 
bilities in the manufacture of trans- 
formers with close regulation, it is 
exceedingly interesting to read some 
of the patents and also trade journal 
discussions of the early days dealing 
ponderously with the difficulty of se- 
curing good regulation at all. 



magnetic induction above the limits 
considered desirable for high-grade 
apparatus, the labor and material cost 
may be considerably reduced. Such 
transformers will, however, be sub- 
ject to pronounced and serious ob- 
jection by reason of the high mag- 
netizing current absorbed. This mag-„ 
netizing current, sometimes styled «"" 
idle or no-load current, in such de-l»°° 
signs assumes abnormal proportions J 400 
and is worthy of your careful notice.* 
In the early 90's, before convenient 
or commercial forms of indicating »». 
wattmeters had been brought out, 

o " 100 

purchasers of transformers watched 
very closely the idle-current charac- 
teristics of all transformers purchased. 
Nearly all the manufacturers included 
this idle current in their performance 
tabulation. With the advent of the 
convenient portable wattmeter, data 
as to core losses superseded leakage 
current. Leakage current has conse 

All-Day Losses 

Ali-Day Losses 



Savings per 




Gain in 

Year at 





1 .5 Cents pei 



per day 










1 541 

8 43 
























■ ■ 











The above calculations were made 
on the basis of 24 hours' core loss, 5 
hours' copper loss. 

The great change in physical di- 
quently been almost forgotten by the mensions of transformers permits of 
purchaser. There was justification a considerable improvement in reg'u- 

It may be permissible at this point 
to suggest good care in the making 
of all connections in the secondary 
circuit. A poor connection may intro- 
duce enough additional drop to cause 
a very unequal distribution of the cur- 
rent between two transformers that 
would otherwise divide the load 
equally. Too much importance can 
not be placed upon the last statement. 
The line resistance between the sec- 
ondaries of various transformers in 
a network is of equal importance. 
Other things being equal, the trans- 
former nearer the centre of distribu- 
tion will take the larger proportion of 
the load. 

The natural effect of lower losses 
in present-day transformers has been 
to lessen the heating problem. With 
the reduction in physical dimensions 
of active parts and a lessening of the 
losses, smaller jackets may be em- 

for this in that it was the prevailing 
practice of transformer manufactur- 
ers to hold down this leakage to very 
low limits. 

By reason of the lower losses in the 
new material for a given induction, 

lation, if the manufacturer or user de- 
sires it. This follows from the great 
reduction in copper loss it is possible 
to secure. As a matter of fact, how- 
ever, designers of commercial trans- 
formers are not taking advantage of 

it follows that by employing higher the possibilities in this direction, as 
inductions the losses may remain the to do so might render the new trans- 

same at reduced cost of manufacture. 
High induction, however, leads inevit- 
ably to high leakage current, and for 
this reason buyers should revive leak- 
age current as a feature to be consid- 

former incapable of operation in mul- 
tiple with previous types. 

Parallel operation of units of this 
class is a very important factor to the 
central station. The successful par- 

ered before making purchases. High allel operation of two or more trans- 
leakage current is a dangerous thing, formers is dependent upon two fac- 
Under excess voltage it rises rapidly, tors — copper drop and reactance. The 
It is rumored that, since the advent effect of these two factors in combina- 
of this new steel, transformers have tion is usually referred to as the im- 
been placed upon the market with pedance of the transformer. Cor- 
leakage current under normal pres- rectly speaking, transformers of the 
sures running as high as 20.25 and same size when operating in parallel 














O 4000 




4 U '2 '6 20 B4 28 32 30 40 44 46 62 t>0 SO 64 88 



ployed. Conditions have so changed 
as to eliminate the heating question 
entirely in the smaller sizes ; that is 
to say, manufacturing considerations 

June, 1909 


I 53 

dictate cases of such sizes that the 
transformers have abnormally small 
temperature rise. 

While reduction in physical dimen- 
sions is of benefit to the user and in 
some ways lessens the difficulty of 
manufacture, it has in others in- 
creased the difficulties. It has given 
rise to the necessity for increased care 
in the internal insulation, and it is 
therefore wise to give most careful 
consideration to any existing practice 
that may have a tendency to impair 
the insulation unnecessarily. This 
leads to a consideration of proper in- 



\ 1 



A 4^-1 


A 1 

st it 

^ IT 





sulation tests. Enough attention has 
not been given heretofore to the ill 
effects of prolonged application of test 
pressures, and the experimenters are 
now closely studying this phase of 
the work. These investigations are 
bound to result in material benefit to 
the manufacturer and the user. Pro- 
fessor A. S. Langsdorf, of Washing- 
ton University, St. Louis, published 
some months ago a very instructive 
paper on the ill effects of insulation 
tests of long duration. He finds as 
the result of a long series of tests that 
all the ordinary insulating materials 
reach a condition of normal resistance 
to puncture within io sec. after an 
alternating pressure has been applied. 
This normal resistance is about one- 
half the instantaneous resistance. The 
application of test pressure beyond 
this interval of io sec. simply results 
in the impairment of the insulation. 
A given insulating material that will 
withstand succesfully a pressure of 
10,000 volts for two to five seconds 
may break down on that pressure if 
tested for a period of five minutes, 
and between these limits of five sec- 
onds and five minutes there is a con- 
tinuous, gradual deterioration or 
fatigue of material. It is therefore 
evident that insulation tests should be 
limited to intervals that correspond ap- 
proximately to the duration of the sud- 
den and usual stresses arising in the 
supply cricuits, and it is probable that 

an insulation test of io seconds is 
amply sufficient to discover all the de- 
fects existing in an insulating mate- 
rial in this apparatus, and that a test 
of longer duration is not only of no 
benefit, but results in a gradual im- 
pairment of the insulation. 

In the same way an increasing fre- 
quency is shown, by Professor Langs- 
dorf's test, to be equivalent to an in- 
crease of pressure. In describing 
higher frequency under which insula- 
tion tests are to be made, the multi- 
plying factor due to this increase of 
frequency should be taken into con- 
sideration. Professor Langsdorf's 
test as to the time a given material 
will stand a given pressure is shown 
in Fig. 5. Fig. 6 shows the relation 
between frequency and time, the volt- 
age remaining constant. An increase 
of frequency, therefore, is equivalent 
to an increased time of application. 
It is the author's recommendation that 
all users take advantage of this in- 
formation and reduce the require- 
ments for insulating testing, for peri- 
ods of 10 to 20 seconds, and, further, 
that the prescribed pressures be double 
the normal operating pressure. This 
recommendation applies more particu- 
larly to transformers wound for the 
higher voltages, as it is the custom 
of all manufacturers to test their 
standard central station units at 10,- 
000 volts. 

One of the most interesting, but not 
important, effects of recent improve- 
ments has been to emphasize the prin- 
ciple that the user is not particularly 
interested in the type ; that is, whether 
shell or core type is employed. De- 
termination of this feature should be 
left entirely with the manufacturer, as 
the choice between the two is more a 
matter of habit than of engineering 
preference. Some years ago manu- 
facturers of transformers were di- 
vided somewhat violently as between 
the core and shell type of construction. 
The partisan advocates of each were 
strongly disinclined to see any merit 
in the other. It is interesting now to 
see that some of the shell-type advo- 
cates of former years are adding core 
types to their lines, while some of the 
most ardent core-type advocates have 
switched around to shell type. The 
meaning of this is that the statements 
frequently made as to the virtues of 
one or the other type were advertis- 
ing, rather than facts. Each offers a 
compromise under certain conditions, 
and a skilful designer can come very 
near accomplishing the same result in 
both types. In the writer's opinion, 
the user is largely interested in the 
quality of what he gets, and if he will 
observe carefully the performance re- 
sults he will not concern himself par- 
ticularly whether the apparatus is shell 
or core type. 

Sufficiency of Demand for Elec- 

Section 65 of the New York Trans- 
portation Corporations Law imposes 
a penalty of $10 and a further sum of 
$5 a day for the failure of an elec- 
tric lighting corporation to furnish 
electricity after an application in wri- 
ting by the owner or occupant of any 
building or premises, the penalty to 
be paid to the applicant. In a recent 
case, where a consumer's electricity 
had been cut off, he wrote demanding 
a supply, but the company insisted on 
his signing a special contract. The 
court held that a mere request to re- 
store the connection and furnish the 
current on the same terms and condi- 
tions as before was a sufficient de- 

Moffat v. New York Edison Co., 
116 N.Y. S. 683. 


An action was brought by an elec- 
tric light and power company, the 
complaint in which contained the fol- 
lowing allegations, to which the de- 
fendant demurred on the ground that 
it did not state facts sufficient to con- 
stitute a cause of action. The facts 
stated were as follows : After the 
plaintiff company had constructed its 
line the defendant, a telephone com- 
pany, strung wires over the plain- 
tiff's wires in a defective manner, 
both as to method and material ; no 
precaution was taken by the defend- 
ant to prevent these wires from fall- 
ing or sagging and coming in con- 
tact with the plaintiff's wires ; a build- 
ing to which the telephone company's 
wires were attached was destroyed 
by fire, and the wires of the two com- 
panies came in contact, causing the 
current in the plaintiff's wire to be 
transmitted along the telephone wire, 
resulting in personal injury to a third 
person; for some time prior to this 
ocurrence the telephone company's 
wires had been in disuse; it had been 
notified by the owners of buildings to 
which the wires were attached to re- 
move them, but had refused to do 
so; the plaintiff had no knowledge 
nor means of knowing of the defective 
condition of the telephone company's 
wires ; the accident was claimed to be 
solely due to the negligence of the 
telephone company ; the person in- 
jured recovered judgment against 
both companies, and through a col- 
lusive arrangement between the tele- 
phone company and this person the 
amount of the judgment was col- 
lected from the plaintiff. The court 
held that these facts showed a suf- 
ficient cause of action. It was also 
held that counterclaims by the tel- 
ephone company for amounts paid by 
it in settlement of actions by other 
parties arising from the same acci- 



June, 1909 

dent were insufficient, because they 
did not show that the telephone com- 
pany was not connected with the act 
or omission which ocasioned the in- 
juries for which it was compelled to 
pay. _ 

Fulton County Gas & Electric Co. 
v. Hudson River Telephone Co. 
(Supreme Court, Appellate Di- 
vision, Third Department) 114 
New York Supplement, 642. 


In an action to recover damages for. 
the death of a lineman in the employ- 
ment of a telephone company against 
an electric light company it appeared 
that the telephone company had per- 
mitted the electric light company to 
stretch a guy wire from one of its 
poles to a pole of the telephone com- 
pany and to attach to its poles and 
there to maintain wires for the trans- 
mission of heavy currents of electric- 
ity, one of these wire being defective- 
ly insulated. The plaintiff's case, as 
shown by the evidence, was that the 
deceased was directed to climb the 
pole in question to put in its proper 
place a telephone wire which had been 
displaced by a falling limb. In carry- 
ing out his instructions, when he 
reached the proper height upon the 
pole, he abandoned the stirrups pro- 
vided and stood upon the guy wire, 
and so standing attempted by means 
of a hand rod attached to the de- 
tached telephone wire to throw that 
about the electric light wire and draw 
it over into place ; in doing so the 
guy wire, being attached to the pole 
so as to be in contact with the me- 
tallic blade, which was connected with 
a trus rod to add stability to the pole, 
and his hand touching an electric 
light wire charged with a heavy cur- 
rent at the point where the insula- 
tion was defective, although the de- 
fect was not apparent, he established 
a connection which carried the fatal 
current through his body. 

The court held that with respect to 
the joint use of the pole, each com- 
pany was charged with the same duty 
toward employees of the other as 
toward its own, and the coresponding 
duty of the employees to use due care 
for their safety was the same as to 
both companies ; and as the deceased 
would not have been injured had he 
not voluntarily and unnecessarily 
used an appliance for a purpose other 
than that for which he knew it to be 

Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. v. 
Archdeacon (Supreme Court of 
Ohio) 88 North Eastern Re- 
porter 125. 

A case similiar in principle to the 
above was recently decided by the 
Texas Supreme Court, in which it 

was held that where a city owning a 
lighting plant runs its wires along 
a partition wall above the roof of a 
building it is the city's duty to the 
owners and those having a legal right 
to use the roof to maintain the wires 
in a safe condition, but it is not liable 
to a police officer who, without the 
knowledge or consent of the owners 
of the building, goes upon the roof at 
night to detect persons violating the 
law and is injured by contact with an 
improperly insulated wire. 

City of Greenville v. Potts, 107 
South Western Reporter, 50. 


In Leonard v. Cutler-Hammer 
Manufacturing Co. the Circuit Court 
of Appeals for the circuit has decided 
that the Leonaard patent No. 673,274 
for an electric circuit-controller, com- 
bining in the same device an overload 
and an underload switch, claims 1, 6, 
7 and 11 are void for lack of inven- 
tion in view of the prior art. Claim 
10, if given a broad construction, was 
also held to be void for lack of inven- 
tion. If limited to the form shown 
and described in the drawings and 
specification it was held not to be 

In Hall Signal Co. v. General Rail- 
way Signal Co., the Circuit Court of 
the Western District of New York de- 
cided that the Wilson patent No. 
470,813 for an electric railway signal 
apparatus was not anticipated and 
covers a combination which was the 
final step in making the normal dan- 
ger system of signaling successful 
and practicable and is entitled to rank 
as a pioneer in the art and to a broad 
construction. For this reason it was 
also held to be infringed by the de- 
fendant and an injunction and ac- 
counting was granted. 

In a suit by the General Electric 
Co. against the Morgan-Gardner 
Electric Co. decided by the Circuit 
Court of Appeals of the Seventh Cir- 
cuit the Knight and Potter patents 
Nos. 587441 and 587,442 for a means 
and method of regulating the power 
and speed of mechanism driven by 
two electric motors, the invention con- 
sisting of changing from series to 
multiple by shunting one of the mo- 
tors, while protecting the other by re- 
sistence in series with it, and then 
breaking the circuit of the shunted 
motor and arranging it in parallel 
with the other, were held valid and 
infringed and an injunction and an 
accounting were ordered, reversing 
the decree of the Circuit Court for 
the Eastern Division of the Northern 
District of Illinois. 

In a patent suit for injunction and 
accounting for infringement it ap- 

peared that the complainant owns pat- 
ent No. 606,015 for an improvement 
in systems of electrical distribution 
and regulation. It named as defen- 
dants the Allis-Chalmers Company 
and the Bullock Electric Manufactur- 
ing Company, but the latter, an Ohio 
corporation, was not served with 
process and did not appear and the 
suit was against the Allis-Chalmers 
Co. alone. 

The bill charged, and the answer 
admitted certain facts as to the own- 
ership by the Allis-Chalmers Com- 
pany of the majority of the stock of 
the Bullock Electric Manufacturing 
Company and its control of the acts 
of the latter company. The only in- 
fringement referred to in the com- 
plainant's briefs or proofs was one 
founded on a sale by the Bullock 
Company to the Merchants' Heat & 
Light Company of Indianapolis of 
certain machinery said to embody the 
invention of the complainant's patent. 
The court held that the ownership 
of a majority of the capital stock of 
the Bullock Company by the Allis- 
Chalmers Company, the fact that 
some persons— how many does not 
appear — were members of the two 
boards of directors, and the fact that 
the Allis-Chalmers Company adver- 
tises that its electrical department is 
operated by and that it will continue 
to manufacture the product of the 
Bullock Company, taken with the 
averment that it does not in any wise 
control the Bullock Company except 
as it lawfully may, as a majority 
stockholder thereof, were not admis- 
sions that the Allis-Chalmers Com- 
pany controls the Bullock Company 
in such manner as to justify a con- 
clusion that it is guilty either of di- 
rect or contributory infringement; 
and as the admissions of the answer 
were the only proofs on the point, the 
bill was dismissed. 

Westinghouse Electric & Manu- 
facturing Co. v. Allis-Chalmers 
Co. (Circuit Court, New Jer- 
sey), 168 Federal Reporter, 91. 

Questions and Answers 

Question. — / wish to test a number 
of batteries of dry cells from remote 
points zvith a pocket ammeter. What 
is the effect of testing three to six in 
series? Would this reading be the 
average of the cells in the battery? 

Answer. — The wording of your in- 
quiry would give us to understand that 
you are perfectly familiar with battery 
testing, but have a doubt about re- 
sults, due to the fact that you had to 
test from a distance. Of course, test- 
ing near or far does not alter the case, 
except for the additional resistance of 
the testing leads, which must be al- 
lowed for. 

Jane, 1909 



Dry-battery work carries with it the 
rule of thumb. For all practical pur- 
poses the current of any number in 
series would be the average of each. 
If too much or too little simply add or 
subtract cells, which is cheaper than 
calculating out what the exact number 
ought to be. 

Question. — Recently we have been 
considering the addition of a Tirrel 
regulator to govern our exciter. We 
have been informed by the maker of 
the regulator that our exciter will have 
to be replaced by a larger one. Why is 
this necessary ? Our present one has 
novo been in use eight years and has 
been plenty big for our worst condi- 

Answer. — The object of having a 
new exciter is to provide extra capac- 
ity in the exciter and to get a machine 
wound for from 140 to 150 volts. The 
name plate would call it a 125-volt ex- 
citer, but actually it could develop the 
higher voltage. The reason for the 
above is to have an exciter which, 
when delivering normal full-load ex- 
citing current to the generator, will it- 
self be underloaded. A fully loaded 
exciter being under a condition of full 
saturation wouM alter its field slowly 
in response to the action of the regu- 
lator. When partly loaded it responds 
almost immediately to the regulator. 

Question. — We have a nezu three- 
phase induction motor which is giv- 
ing us trouble. We start it about 
20 times per day. On an average of 
once in a dozen times it will refuse to 
start, although the starting load is well 
zvithin its range. When we turn the 
rotor by pulling on the belt it starts 
off. Why does it stick? 

Answer. — Undoubtedly this motor 
had one or more dead points in it. 
Sometimes the magnetic poles of the 
stator and rotor windings will frame 
up in such a way as to produce no 
torque between them. A slight ro- 
tation of the rotor usually upsets this 
condition and the rotor moves off. 
You cannot repair this yourself. No- 
tify the manufacturer, who will give 
you a rotor of a different number of 

Question. — Is there any record of 
gas-engine sales, particularly covering 
the use of electric ignition? 

Answer. — We know of no record of 
these sales. 

Question.- — We have 150 h.p. actual 
load running in our mill. Power has 
been furnished single phase by the 

G — 5" — Co. We are now to put in 
our ozvn plant, but find that engine- 
type single-phase generators are not 
on the market. This will require our 
purchasing a two- or three-phase gen- 
erator. In case we buy the latter, what 
should be the capacities of the engine 
and of the generator? 

Answer. — To cover losses of the en- 
gine horse power should be a fifth 
larger than the motor capacity, or 
about 180 h.p. This is on the assump- 
tion that 150 h.p. in the motors is about 
the peak of the load. 

A three-phase generator is good for 
70 per cent, of its normal capacity 
when used as a single-phase machine. 

.'. 156 = of total capacity. 



-X 100=222 h.p. (approximately). 

222 X 3 
222 h.p. = = 167 k.w. (ap- 


Therefore, the generator should be 
the next standard size above, or say a 
200-h.p. engine and a 1.75-k.w., three- 
phase generator. 

Question. — Rheostats for direct-cur- 
rent motors have many contacts. How 
is it that the starter for an alternating- 
current motor has only two points, 




Answer. — A rheostat is cut into the 
armature circuit of a direct-current 
motor in order to make an artificial 
resistance to take the place of the 
counter electromotive force. The re- 
sistance of a direct-current armature 
is a small fraction of an ohm. Sup- 
pose one with 1/10 ohm resistance 
were put across a 220 V circuit. The 


flow of current would be = 2200 

amperes. As ordinary armatures are 
wound with wire seldom exceeding 
No. 2 (B. & S. gauge) it is evident 
that, if the fuses held, the armature 
would go up in smoke very quickly. 
When the armature is at full speed 
the "dynamo current" of the motor, or 
its counter electromotive force, as 
commonly called, bucks the driving 
current and reduces the number of 
amperes actually flowing, according 
to the horse-power capacity of the 
motor. This counter electromotive 
force builds up with increase of speed, 
so that the rheostat should have its 
resistance cut out in proportion to the 

With an alternating-current motor 
the case is different. An induction 
motor is practically a transformer with 
the secondary free to move. Like a 
transformer, any size machine can be 

thrown directly across the line with- 
out injury. But when such a motor 
at rest is thrown across the line the 
power-factor is so low it will mo- 
mentarily try to draw from three to 
six or eight times the number of am- 
peres (not horse-power) to start the 
motor as will later be required to de- 
velop full horse-power. As speed in- 
creases the power-factor improves, so 
that the running amperes are about 
the same as a direct-current motor of 
similar horse-power would consume 
when working on a like voltage. As 
this starting rush of amperes is in 
proportion to the voltage, it is evi- 
dent that half voltage would give only 
one-half as many amperes, starting 
torque being reduced, of course. The 
alternating-current motor starter, 
commonly known as a "compensator,"' 
or as an "auto-starter," is really a 
lowering transformer. The "starting" 
posititon is usually placed so as to 
allow only 60 per cent, of normal volt- 
age coming on the "running" point. 
In large-sized motors a number of 
different taps into the transformer 
(starter) are used so as to give 60 
per cent., 70 per cent., 80 per cent., 
90 per cent, and 100 per cent, in turn, 
thus giving a very easy start without 
disturbing the whole supply system by 
a heavy sudden draft of amperes. 
The starting regulation, however, 
never need be so close for alternating- 
current apparatus as for direct-current 
apparatus, owing to the presence of 
self-inductor in the former. Hence 
the lesser number of points or leads. 

The Macbeth Iron Company, of 
Cleveland, engineers, founders and 
machinists, builders of blowing en- 
gines, etc., and The Bruce-Meriam- 
Abbott Company, also of Cleveland, 
builders of gas engines, were consoli- 
dated on June 1st, the name of the 
new company being the Bruce-Mac- 
beth Engine Company. 

It is the purpose of the new com- 
pany to continue the business of both 
of the former companies on a much 
larger scale, and to concentrate the 
two present plants at the former plant 
of The Macbeth Iron Company on 
Center Street, Cleveland. 

The officers of the company are 
as follows : President, W. C. Bruce ; 
Vice-President, C. W. Kelly ; Secre- 
tary-Treasurer, C. J. Snow ; Mana- 
ger, C. E. Curtiss. 

The Gould battery in isolated plants 
is dealt with in a pamphlet sent out by 
the Gould Storage Battery Co., of De- 
pew, N. Y. The selection of the 
proper battery, the method of opera- 
tion, charging rates, and details of in- 
stallation, are all dealt with, the vari- 
ous types of cells and installations 
being well illustrated. 



June, 1909 

Holophane Arcs 


For Tungsten 

Compare it in any way you may choose 
with any comparable unit on the market 
and you will find the NEW HOLOPHANE 
ARC superior in every respect. 

Write for New Bulletin 51. Contains much 
valuable Illuminating Engineering Data. 
Ready July 10th. 



New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco 

News Notes 

Among- the orders recently re- 
ceived by the Crocker- Wheeler Com- 
pany, of Ampere, N. J., are several 
for large direct-current generators. 
One of these called for a 1500-kw., 
550 volt direct-current machine, 
which is to be used in the machine- 
shop department of the Union Stock 
Yards of Armour & Co., Chicago. 
A similar machine with a rating of 
800 kw. at 575 volts was sold to 
Landers, Frary & Clark, of New 
Britain, Conn. Warner Bros. Co., 
Bridgeport, Conn., has placed an or- 
der for two direct-current generators, 
having a capacity of 150 kw. and 329 
kw., respectively, at 235 volts. 
Among other sales are the following: 
one 150-kw., 125-volt generator to 
the Keystone Steel & Wire Co. ; one 
140-kw., 240-volt generator and six 
15-h.p., 230-volt motors to the Napier 
& Mitchell Manufacturing Co., Belle- 
ville, N. J.; one 125 kva., 3-phase, 
60-cycle, 240-volt alternating-current 
generator to be installed at the plant 
of the Cleveland Worsted Mills Co., 
Cleveland, O. ; one 165-kw., 3-phase, 
60-cycle, 240-volt generator to the 
Miami Valley Knitting Works, Ham- 
ilton, O. Two 110-h.p., 230-volt di- 
rect-current motors were sold to the 
Illinois Steel Co., South Chicago, 111. 
A sale amounting to 247 h.p. in 220 
volt direct-current series wound crane 
motors was made to the Northern 
Engineering Works at Detroit, Mich. 
102 h.p. of 220-volt direct-current 
motors are to be shipped to the Cen- 


most desirable suite of offices con- 
taining about 5500 sq. ft. 
in loft and towers of 

Park Row Building 

Nos. 13-21 PARK ROW 

Excellent location for any business 
where uninterrupted light for 
draughting purposes is desired. 
Private elevators; liberal terms. 

on premises, or 146 Broadway 

"Metallic Filaments. (Tungsten) in all 
sizes from .18 amp. to 1.5 amp. Write for 
prices and samples. Manufactured by 
Harrison, The Bryant Trading Syndicate, 
Ltd., Horsell Road, Highbury, London, 


Volume XL. Number 7. 

1 .00 a year; 1 5 cents a copy. 

New York, July, 1 909 

The Electrical Age Co 
New York. 


Published monthly by 

The Electrical Age Co., 45 E. 42d Street, New York. 

J. H. SMITH. Pres. C. A. HOPE. Sec. andTreas. 


Telephone No. 6498 38th. 

Private branch exchange connecting all departments. 

Cable Address — Revolvable, New York. 


United States and Mexico, $1.00. 

Canada, $1.50. To Other Countries, $2.50 


Insertion of new advertisements or changes of copy cannot 
be guaranteed for the following issue if received later than the 
15th of each month. 



Batteries for Railroads 155 

The Small Central Station 156 


An Elementary Explanation of Their Under- 
lying Principles and Methods of Testing. . 157 

Investigating the Cause of Breakage of 
High Tension Glass Insulators 163 

Some Features of Condenser and Cooling 
Tower Design and Operation 164 

Distributing Transformers 168 

Residence Lighting in Detroit.... 173 

The Supplying of Electric Current to Other 
Towns from a Centrally Located Station. 174 

Factors That Should Be Considered in 
Making Street Lighting Contracts 175 

Batteries for Railroads 

For many years it has been an open 
secret that the storage battey is not 
an economic success where used for 
supplying propulsion current to rail- 
road trains. Batteries have been used 
on traction systems to insure against 
interruption of traffic and to equalize 
the load on generators. When these 
two purposes are analyzed to their 
commercial elements it is found that 
they resolve themselves into the sub- 
stitution of batteries for an equivalent 
capacity of generating and transmit- 
ting equipment and experience has 
amply demonstrated that it is more 
economical to have the extra equip- 
ment than to have the battery. 

This stand has been consistently 
maintained by L. B. Stilwell, H. G. 
Stott, and other prominent engineers 

who have handled large installations 
and in view of this fact the large 
installation of batteries planned by the 
New York Central R. R. was some- 
what surprising to the majority of 
electric railroad men. It is somewhat 
significant, however, that the new sub- 
station being built by that company at 
Tuckahoe is without the usual bat- 
tery house which has hitherto charac- 
terized their designs. 

It does not require any unusual acu- 
men to discern the reason for the 
trend in railroad battery affairs. It 
has been briefly stated above ; we shall 
now consider it in greater detail be- 

The cost of a very large storage 
battery with housing, boosters, trans- 
formers and other accessories is about 
$65.00 per kw. at the one-hour rate. 
For smaller batteries used on railway 
work this figure may be increased as 
much as 50 per cent., but we shall use 
the smaller figure in our calculations. 
Based on the eight-hour rate, the cor- 
responding cost of a large battery and 
accessories would be from $40.00 to 
$45.00 per kw. 

The one-hour rate should be used 
as the basis of comparison between 
batteries and rotating equipment for 
reasons which will be adduced pres- 

The average cost of generating and 
converting equipment is approximate- 
ly as follows : 


Cost per Kilowatt 
Source op Current Continuous 8 Hr. 1 Hr 

Rating Rating Rating 

Power Stations $90 78 45 

Substations and trans- 
mission equipment.. 40 35 20 

' Total 130 113 65 

| 8 Hr. and 1 Hr. Costs based upon Table IV. 

The comparative cost of batteries 
and rotating equipment is as follows: 


Cost per Kilowatt 
Source of Current 8 Hr. 1 Hr. 

• Rating Rating 

Battery 45 65 

Rotating equipment (see Table I) 113 65 

It is apparently the eight-hour com- 
parison which has misled the unwary. 
The fair basis of comparison is the 
one-hour output, as stated above. 

When a generating station is 
equipped with units to carry the eight- 
hour load, it seldom has sufficient ca- 
pacity to carry the one-hour or the 
peak loads. This is a matter of ex- 
perience. Thus in a specific instance 
the loads were as follows: 


Duration op Load. Kilowatts 

24 Hours 400 „ 

8 " 500 

2 " 1000 

1 " 1300 

1 Min 2000 

The average overload capacity of 
rotating equipment, that is genera- 
tors and rotary converters, is approxi- 
mately as given in the following table : 

C Per Cent of Rated 

Duration op Load jjjJJ Load which may 

be carried. 

24 Hours 100 

8 " '^-, 115 

2 " 1 170 

1 " ' 200 

1 Min 250 

Hence if rotating equipment were 
installed to carry the eight-hour load, 
its rating would be 500 kw. and its 
loading at other loads would be as 
follows : 


Output of 500 Loads to be 

Period Kw. machines carried for 

for various various 

periods periods 

8 Hours 575 500 

2 " 850 1000 

1 " 1000 1300 

1 Min 1250 2000 

It is obvious from this typical case 
that the eight-hour rating is useless 
as a criterion for the determination 
of the rating of equipment. 

Let us now consider the one-hour 
rating, which would require a stand- 

ard rating of — 650 kw., or as 

this is not a regular size, let us say 
750 kw., which permits the use of 
three 250-kw. units. The loading 
would then be as follows : 


Output of Loads to 

750 Kw. carried for 

machines for various 

various periods 

8 Hours 865 500 

2 " 1275 1000 

1 " 1500 1300 

1 Min 1870 2000 

This is seen to be a fair choice of 
units, the loads being slightly less 
than the maximum which can be safe- 
ly carried by the machines. 

Suppose the eight-hour rating to 
have been selected and the peaks car- 
ried by batteries instead of dynamo 
equipment. The required battery ra- 
tings would be as follows: 


Kilowatts to 

be carried by 

Period. battery if latter 

is based on one 

hour load. 

8 Hours 25 

2 " 150 

1 " 300 

1 Min 750 

Now the discharge rates of batter- 


J 56 


J«ly, 1909 

ies for various periods are as follows : 


Discharge Rates 
Period of batteries for va- 

rious periods 

8 Hours 100% 

2 " 260 

1 " 400 

1 Min 1000 

If we choose a battery on the basis 
of its eight-hour rate, it will be a 25- 
kw. battery and its discharge rates 
for various periods would be as follows : 


Discharge Load to 

Period Rate of be carried 

Battery Kw. 

8 Hours 25 25 

2 " 65 150 

1 " 100 300 

1 Min 250 750 

It is obvious from this that a bat- 
tery rated to carry the eight-hour 
load would be absurdly small. Rated 
according to the one-hour load, the 
following results are obtained : 


Discharge Load to be 

Period Rate of carried, 

Battery, Kw. 

8 Hours 75 25 

2 " 195 150 

1 " 300 300 

1 Min 750 750 

This is seen to be a fair choice of 
battery, the loads to be carried being 
slightly less than the corresponding 
discharge rate of the battery. 

We do not contend that in every 
case the proper basis of comparison 
is the one-hour rating, but we do con- 
tend that it is usually the correct basis 
and that the eight-hour rating would 
be utterly absurd in the great major- 
ity of cases. 

Returning now to Table II., we see 
that on the one-hour rating batteries 
are on a par with rotating equipment 
as far as initial cost is concerned and 
we have been more generous in our 
estimate of the cost of rotating equip- 
ment than in our battery estimate. In 
fact our battery estimate is based 
upon the lowest price we have heard 

While the battery is not economical 
in first cost, it is most decidedly uneco- 
nomical in operation. 

T. C. Parsons and W. Preece con- 
servatively estimate the life of a stor- 
age battery as 15 years with a 10 per 
cent, residual value. The proper main- 
tenance of a battery therefore re- 
quires the replacement of approxi- 
mately 6.50 per cent, of its original 
cost every year. Add to this the 
labor of making these replacements 
and the labor of maintenance and it 
will be found that the annual ex- 
penses in connection with a battery 
exceed 10 per cent, of its original 
cost and are often as high as 15 per 
cent., nearly all of this being addition- 
al to the regular station expenses. 

As we go to press we hear a con- 
firmation of our views, in the reported 
abandonment, as a regulating battery, 
of one of the largest railroad installa- 
tions in the country, together with 

the report of the assignment of these 
batteries to their "insurance function" 
only — reason excessive cost of main- 

There was once a man who said 
that the story of Jonah being swal- 
lowed by the whale was more than 
he could swallow and for this opinion 
he was tabooed by his erstwhile 
friends who declared that he was de- 
nying religion, advocating murder 
and the disintegration of society. We 
hope that no angry believer in bat- 
teries will follow the example of these 
people and denounce us as opposed to 
the general use of batteries and to 
good engineer ingin general. We believe 
in batteries for telephony, where they 
have made possible the great central 
battery systems of the present day. 
We believe in batteries for isolated 
lighting plants which would be impos- 
sible without them. We believe in 
batteries for train lighting where they 
replace the objectionable Pintsch gas 
apparatus. We also believe in bat- 
teries for lighting stations where good 
regulation is requisite and insurance 
against darkness is worth paying for, 
but we do not believe in batteries as 
adjuncts to traction substations ex- 
cept in very special cases. 

The Small Central Station 

Throughout the rather thickly set- 
tled states are several thousand small 
central stations, if we may properly 
dignify by that name power stations 
working during the night time only 
and delivering a few hundred kilo- 
watts of current for sundry lighting 

For the most part, these little sta- 
tions are built with cheap machinery 
as small plants cannot generally af- 
ford to install a relatively expensive 
fuel-saving equipment. They have 
usually sprung into existence as the 
hasty plan of a borough council to 
place electric lights on their streets, 
and not as the result of a well-devel- 
oped business plan to build an electric 
property to supply light and power to 
a community. Usually the cost of cur- 
rent is so high that the charge to a 
private consumer is high and relative- 
ly few of them get on the circuit of the 
local company. Consequently munic- 
ipal lighting is the plum of the small 
station and not the persimmon it usu- 
ally is in many of the large cities. 

The excessive cost of current gen- 
erated by cheap plants with all of the 
attendant unreliability of service is 
the plain truth before any of these 
small plants. 

The present situation has many 
points of similarity to the develop- 
ment of the telephone business which 
began more than a decade before the 
electric lighting industry. For a pe- 
riod of twenty years the number of 

telephones in service increased rather 
slowly down to about 1895 when al- 
most by magic the number began to 
increase at the phenomenally high rate 
of 30 per cent, per annum and main- 
tained that rate for nearly a dec- 
ade. In the case of the telephone, 
there was- slow growth during what 
may be termed the experimental pe- 
riod of development when people were 
only getting to know the time-saving 
telephone. There were neither ex- 
tensive local systems nor were the 
connections between towns and cities 
numerous. Just as soon, however, as 
communities began to be connected 
together there was a very rapid in- 
crease of the number of calls, and 
that meant revenue — and there was 
the already mentioned phenomenal in- 
crease in the number of telephones. 

A similar expansion of the electric 
light industry is now about to take 
place. In practically every town of 
over 1000 people there is some sort 
of an electric outfit whose chief eco- 
nomic purpose has hitherto been to 
make its denizens acquainted with the 
electric light known generally to them 
as a thing of luxury for rich folk. 
Undeniably this has been the general 
impression of rural communities. But 
we are now on a new era in the devel- 
opment of electric lighting and power. 
The same development which took 
place in the telephone field is in al- 
most full swing in the electric indus- 
try. Already water power properties 
are interconnecting towns with an ef- 
ficient and reliable service, which if 
not a cheap service to the public can 
be made so. Progressive steam plants 
are throwing out trunk lines to small 
towns offering them day and night 
service with steady current and rea- 
sonable rates therefor. The larger 
power distributing companies are de- 
livering current to small towns at 
rates much lower than the generating 
costs possible in plants such as a 
small community could afford to build. 
• These are the facts, and they 
are being rapidly understood by 
the smaller stations. C. C. Custer of 
the Miami Light, Heat and Power 
Co., Piqua, O., declared before the 
Ohio Electric Light Association : "If 
your town is too small to support a 
well-built plant, it were better to 
'hitch your wagon to a star' of greater 
magnitude by running a transmission 
line to a larger plant." In another 
paper presented before that body this 
year, C. Smith, manager of the Brad- 
ford & Gettysburg, Electric Light and 
Power Company, Bradford, O., de- 
scribes such a transmission plant de- 
signed to serve Bradford and Gettys- 
burg, taking current therefor from 
the Greenville Electric Light and 
Power Co. His paper appears else- 


An Elementary Explanation of tneir Underlying Principles, 

and Methods of Testing 


The function of a meter is to inte- 
grate — i. e., sum up — and to register 
in commercial units the electrical en- 
ergy supplied through it. 

Ammeters, voltmeters., indicating 
wattmeters, dynamometers, and the 
like, will here be considered as "in- 
struments" — not meters — since they 
merely indicate the amperes, volts and 
watts, without respect to the time ele- 
ment which is included in the gener- 
ally accepted commercial units.* 

Demand indicators and similar ap- 
paratus indicate the maximum load, 
and will not be considered, since they 
do not integrate. 

Bristol and other curve or chart- 
drawing instruments, being recording 
instruments, will not be considered, as 
they merely record on a disc or strip 
of paper the passing load for each in- 
stant and do not integrate it. The 
chart from a recording ammeter or 
,/attmeter can be integrated by deter- 
mining the average amperes and watts 
for each hour and then taking the sum 
of such averages. 

It is the intention here to consider 
only integrating meters, and when us- 
ing the term meter it must be remem- 
bered that it is the integrating meter 
to which reference is made. 



Ampere-Hour Meters. — In the ear- 
ly period of development, meters of 
the ampere-hour class received the 
most attention and were most in de- 
mand. This was due to their simplic- 
ity and consequent low cost, and also 
to the fact that the watt-hour or en- 
ergy meters were then practically lim- 
ited to a single design, that of the mo- 
tor type ; whereas there was a num- 
ber of principles that could be applied 
in the design of ampere-hour meters ; 
as, for instance, motor and electro- 

Meters of the ampere-hour class de- 
signed on the induction principle had 
an advantage, in many respects, over 
the electrolytic meters and also over 
motor-type meters of the watt-hour 
class. The ampere-hour meters were 
simple in construction, neat and small 
in design, easily connected to the cir- 
cuit, and provision was made for read- 
ily adjusting and calibrating them in 
service. The moving element was 
light in weight, the meters were free 
from shunt losses, the first cost was 
comparatively low and the cost of 

or 1000 watt -hours. 

" 1000 " 

" 1000 « 

" 1000 " 

*N. E. L. A. 


maintenance was very reasonable. Am- have become obsolete, and only a few 
pere-hour meters of the chemical type are now in use. 

were unsatisfactory, as the consumer Watt-Hour Meters. — It is the gen- 

could not determine the amount of the eral practice of the manufacturers and 
consumption, and these meters re- others to speak of the watt-hour me- 
quired too much attention, and the ters simply as wattmeters. This prac- 
cost of maintenance was too high. tice is, however, apt to be misleading, 

In the use of ampere-hour meters and it would be preferable to name 
of the induction type a number of vi- them integrating watt-hour meters or 
tal points must be given due consider- watt-hour meters, 
ation. Meters of this class and type A watt-hour is the energy of a watt 

invariably have a low torque, conse- expended during one hour, and a kil- 
quently any change in friction mate- owatt-hour is 1,000 watt-hours. The 
rially affects their accuracy, especially following is therefore evident : 

1000 watts expended for 1 hour = 1000 X 1, 

2000 " " " 0.5 " = 2000 X 0.5 

4000 " " " 0.25 " = 400 X 0.25 

500 " " " 2 " = 500 X 2 

on light loads, and frequently the Thus a watt-meter may be viewed 

larger capacity meters of this class will as a meter that automatically multi- 
not register at all until the load has plies the passing load in watts -by the 
reached several amperes. time and records the product on a 

Where the drag on the moving ele- dial, 
ment is produced by the fan method, At the present time the majority of 

the acuracy of such a meter is af- the manufacturers are supplying to 
fected by barometric changes. Inas- the general market only watt-hour or 
much as ampere-hour meters are not energy meters. 

energy meters, it is necessary to as- The early types of motor meters of 

sume that the current is furnished at the watt-hour class were somewhat 
a certain definite voltage. It is not crudely constructed, being large and 
possible for the central station oper- heavy and having many other objec- 
ator always to maintain this assumed tionable features. There was no pro- 
voltage, thus it is evident that the am- vision for adjustments or means for 
pere-hour class of meters will not reg- compensating for friction. The mov- 
ister the true amount of energy. ing element was very heavy and the 

When ampere-hour meters are used accuracy curve was not all that could 
on alternating-current circuits, they have been desired. The early meters 
are suitable only for purely non-in- of this class have become obsolete, 
ductive loads, and will not give accu- and very few are now in service, hav- 
rate results if connected to circuits ing been replaced with the more mod- 
supplying motors or other inductive ern types. 

translating devices, as they will re- Many very marked improvements 

cord the wattless current. have been made in the recent watt- 

Some of the early types of ampere- hour meters, among which are provi- 
hour meters were calibrated in lamp- sions for adjusting the meters while 
hours. The manufacturer or lighting in service, the reduction in the weight 
company determined the average cur- of the moving element, thereby insur- 
rent, that is, amperes consumed by the ing a longer life of the jewel, and con- 
lamps in use (this amount of current sequently more permanent calibration. 
for an interval of one hour being The shunt losses have also been re- 
called a lamp-hour), and the meters duced to about one-third of the former 
were calibrated accordingly. Other amount, and the general dimensions 
ampere-hour meters were calibrated and w r eight have been reduced, conse- 
in watt-hours, the normal voltage of quently the meters are more compact 
the circuit being taken as the voltage and of more pleasing design, 
at which the current was consumed. 

The majority of the ampere-hour me- tipes of meters. 

ters, however, were calibrated to indi- The types of meters now manufac- 

cate directly in ampere-hour units. tured for the American market may 
Most of these early types of meters be divided as follows : 

Type Designed for Class 

Electrolytic Direct current Ampere-hour meter 

f Direct current Ampere-hour meter 

Mercury \ Direct current Watt-hour meter 

[ Alternating current Watt -hour meter 

Commutated Direct current Watt-hour meter 

Induction Alternating current Watt-hour meter 




July, 1909 


General — The principle of the in- 
duction watt-meter is quite similar to 
that of a rotating-field induction mo- 
tor; and, in general, depends upon the 
production of a torque or turning mo- 
ment in a movable closed secondary 
or rotating element by means of a ro- 
tating magnetic field ; this field being 
established by the combination of the 
magnetic fields produced by the series 
and shunt elements. The interaction 
between the fields and the opposing 
fields of the currents induced in the 
moving element cause the secondary 
or rotor to turn ; its speed being di- 
rectly proportional to the passing en- 
ergy. To obtain this speed relation 
the generally used magnetic brake is 
employed to provide a retarding 
torque which is proportional to the 

Development. — The early experi- 
menters discovered many of the phe- 
nomena embodying the elementary 
principles upon which the modern in- 
duction apparatus has been developed. 
One of the most important discoveries 
was that the spinning or revolving of 
a metallic disc over which was sus- 
pended a magnetic needle would tend 
to rotate the needle in the direction of 
the rotation of the disc. This effect, 
first called the magnetism of rotation, 
is now generally known as Arago's 
rotation. Similar effects were ob- 
served by many experimenters, some 
of whom also discovered that, by re- 
versing the preceding experiments, 
rotation of a suspended metallic disc 
could be produced by rotating a per- 
manent magnet placed directly be- 
neath the disc ; the poles of the per- 
manent magnet being arranged so 
that when the magnet was rotated the 
magnetic flux passed through the disc 
and cut it. 

Induction Principle. — A non-mag- 
netic, metallic disc suspended so as 
to be free to rotate, over which is 
placed a permanent steel magnet, ar- 
ranged to be independently rotated, is 
the most simple form of induction mo- 
tor of which the mind can conceive. 

When the permanent magnet is ro- 
tated the field or magnetic flux from 
the magnet cuts the metallic disc, thus 
inducing eddy currents therein and 
creating magnetic fields having polari- 
ties that oppose the field that original- 
lv produced them. It is therefore evi- 
dent that as the disc is free to rotate 
it will endeavor to maintain a rela- 
tive position so that there will be the 
least cutting of the field of the per- 
manent magnet; that is, the disc will 
revolve in the same direction as the 

The direction of the induced current 
in the disc will be at right angles to 
the direction of rotation and to the 

direction of the magnetic flux pro- 
ducing it. The polarity established 
by the eddy currents flowing in the 
portion of the disc that is just com- 
ing under the magnet pole will be the 
same as the polarity of the pole in- 
ducing it, thus producing a relative 
repulsion or thrusting effect. The po- 
larity of the eddy currents in the por- 
tion of the disc over which the magnet 
has just passed will be of opposite po- 
larity to the pole producing it, conse- 
quently an attraction exists that also 
tends to retard the relative motion. 
The disc is therefore caused to rotate 
in the direction of the rotating mag- 
net. The mode of operation of this 
simple form of rotating-field induc- 
tion motor is quite similar to the meth- 
od of operation of an alternating-cur- 
rent induction meter. 

Shifting Magnetic Field. — In the 
first form of induction motor made, 
rotation of a non-magnetic metallic 
disc was produced by means of four 
fixed electromagnets, energized in 
such a manner as to cause the mag- 
netism to shift, progressively, between 
the poles, thus inducing eddy currents 
in the disc, and by the reaction the 
disc was caused to rotate in the direc- 
tion of the progression of the mag- 
netic poles. In this arrangement the 
electromagnets were energized with 
direct current, and the shifting of the 
poles was accomplished by means of 
a suitably arranged commutating de- 
vice. By this method a shifting mag- 
netic field was obtained, which is es- 
sential to produce rotation of the mov- 
ing element. 







Fig. i. — two alternating currents, in 
quadrature, shown in wave form, and 
the resultant rotating field pro- 
duced by combining the fields of the 
two currents 

Rotating Magnetic Field. — The 
theorem that a true rotating magnetic 
field can be produced by combining 
the magnetic fields of two alternating 
currents, of exactly the same fre- 
quency and amplitude, which differ in 
phase by 90 degrees — or are in quad- 
rature — will be considered graphical- 


Referring to the diagram in Fig. 1, 
the curves A and B represent two al- 
ternating currents differing in. phase 
a quarter period, or 90 degrees. The 
magnetic field produced by the cur- 
rent A may be represented as travel- 
ing along the line X-X' , rising toward 
X and falling toward X' . Likewise 
the magnetic field produced by the 
current B may be represented as trav- 
eling along the line Y-Y', rising along 
the line toward Y and falling toward 
Y\ The magnetic fields produced 
have the same period and amplitude, 
but are constantly changing in 
strength and have a 90-degree phase 

It is evident that when the magnetic 
field produced by A is at a maximum 
B is zero and produces no field, there- 
fore the resultant field lies along die 
line OX, having a strength as repre- 
sented by the line OA. Now, as the 
field of A decreases, represented by 
OA 1 , the strength of the field of B 
gradually increases, as represented by 
OB 1 along the line of OY. By com- 
bining these two forces or magnetic 
fields, the resultant field OR 1 is pro- 
duced. It is also evident that when 
the field of A has decreased to A 2 the 
field of B has increased to B 2 , and by 
combining these two fields the result- 
ant field OR 2 is produced. As the 
field of A decreases further to the 
point of A 3 , the field of B will in- 
crease to the point B 3 , producing the 
resultant field OR 3 . Likewise, when 
the field of A has become zero, the 
field of B has its maximum value and 
the resultant field is represented by 
OB along the line OY. 

It is clear that the resultant mag- 
netic field has gradually been shifting 
or rotating in a counter-clockwise di- 
rection, and if the resultant field be 
plotted for the remainder of the- cycle 
it will be found to rotate uniformly 
around the point 0. Thus the com- 
bination of two magnetic fields that 
vary in the proper manner will pro- 
duce a constantly rotating magnetic 
field, the magnitude of which will be 
the same throughout the cycle 

Production of a Rotating Magnetic 
Field by a Two-Phase Current and Its 
Application to Induction Motors. — 
As shown, a rotating magnetic field 
can be produced by two alternating 
currents, differing in phase relation 
by 90 degrees. The rotating field 
thus obtained may be utilized to cause 
the rotation of non-magnetic, metallic 

July, J9G9 



discs and cylinders by means of the 
eddy currents established in them. The 
production of rotation in this manner 
is tbe real foundation from which in- 
duction motors and induction meters 
have been developed, this being the 
principle that was employed in the 
first form of alternating-current in- 
duction motor produced. 

Two alternating currents having a 
go-degree phase relation may be rep- 
resented in wave form as shown in 
Fig. 2 a. The curve C represents the 



3 < 


5 ( 










magnetic field produced by one cur- 
rent, and the curve D represents the 
magnetic field produced by the cur- 
rent in quadrature. The ordinates 
marked I to 9, inclusive, divide a com- 
plete cycle, so that the magnitude of 
the magnetic fields produced by the 
two currents may be considered at dif- 
ferent instants. 

The application of two currents, as 
stated, to an induction motor having 
four poles symmetrically arranged 
around a closed circuit metallic arma- 
ture is shown in Fig. 2, b, c, d and e. 
These diagrams also indicate the man- 
ner in which the resultant magnetic 
field is developed and rotates. 

Assume that the coils of the motor 
on the poles marked C and C , which 
are diametrically opposite, are con- 
nected across the circuit, of which C 
is the current curve, and that the coils 
on the poles marked D and D' , which 
are also diametrically opposite, are 
connected to the circuit, giving the 
curve D. 

The direction of the magnetic fields 
established at the instant represented 
where ordinate 2 intersects the curves 

will be N-S from pole C to D' and 
from D to C as shown in b. 

At the instant represented by or- 
dinate 3 the field produced by the cur- 
rent C will be at its maximum and 
have a direction N-S from pole C to 
C , as shown in c, while at the same 
instant current D is crossing the zero 
line, changing from a negative to a 
positive value and hence producing 
no field. 

At the instant represented where or- 
dinate 4 intersects the curves, both 
currents have positive values and the 
magnetic field produced as shown in 
d is N-S from pole C to D and from 
pole D' to C. 


At the instant represented where 
ordinate 5 intersects the curves, the 
field produced by current D will have 
a maximum value ; at the same instant 
current C will be crossing the zero 
line, changing from a positive to a 
negative value and will therefore pro- 
duce no field. The direction of the 
field produced by current D is N-S 
from D' to D, as shown in e. 

If the same method is employed to 
follow the direction and relation of 
the fields at the different instants, 
throughout a complete cycle, it will 
be noted that the magnetic poles pro- 
gress or shift and that a traveling 
field is established which rotates in a 
clockwise direction. 

Magnetic Fields Established by a 
Single-Phase Alternating Current. — 
It has been shown that a rotating 
magnetic field may easily be estab- 
lished by two alternating currents 
having a 90-degree phase difference, 
when the field coils are connected in- 
dependently to different phases, as 
shown in Fig. 3, but it is important 
to consider the results that will be 
obtained if the fields of a similarly 
constructed motor are connected to a 
single-phase circuit. 

Fig. 4 shows the fields of an induc- 
tion motor with the diametrically op- 
posite poles connected in series, the 
two pairs P-P' and S-S' being con- 
nected in multiple to a single-phase 
circuit. As the currents in the two 
circuits have the same phase relation, 
the magnetic fields produced are also 
in phase and will rise and fall simul- 
taneously in both circuits, reversing 
in direction with each reversal of the 
alternating current. The magnetic 
fields produced will alternate between 
the poles P and S' and 5* and P' , as 
shown by the dotted lines in the dia- 
gram, therefore no rotating field trav- 
eling from one set of poles to the 
other will be established. 




Method of Producing a Rotating 
Field zvith a Single-Phase Alternating 
Current. — It has been clearly demon- 
strated that a rotating magnetic field 
can be established by a combination of 
fields produced by alternating currents 
having two phases, and this is the 
principle that is so generally applied 
in alternating-current multiphase in- 
duction motors. However, in the de- 
sign of alternating-current induction 
meters it is not necessary to use a 
multiphase circuit, as a simple method 
may be employed to produce a rota- 
ting field with a single-phase current. 

In this method two independent 
branch circuits are necessary, both 
being connected in parallel to the 
mains of a single-phase circuit, as 
shown in Fig. 5. A non-inductive re- 
sistance R, is connected in series with 
branch circuits A, causing practically 
no phase displacement. A coil, L, 



July, 1909 

having a very high inductance and a 
small resistance, is connected in series 
with branch circuit B. This produces 
a phase displacement between the cur- 
rents in the branch circuits that ap- 
proaches 90 degrees sufficiently to 
produce a rotating magnetic field. It 
is this principle that is taken advan- 
tage of in the design of all alternating- 
current induction wattmeters. 

Split-Phase Method.— The split- 
phase method of producing a rotating' 
field is sometimes referred to when de- 
scribing the principles of operation of 
induction wattmeters. This method, 
however, was originally suggested as 
a means of starting two-phase induc- 
tion motors on a single-phase alter- 
nating-current circuit by employing 
an arrangement for splitting the 
phase. Two branch circuits are used 
to connect the field coils to the mains. 
An inductance is connected in series 
in one branch and a resistance is con- 
nected in the other branch ; the ar- 
rangement being quite similar to that 
previously described. 

A split-phase device is required 
which consists of an apparatus to 
"witch the inductance and resistance 
in and out of circuit. With this ar- 
rirgement a rotating field is estab- 
lished that produces sufficient torque 
to start the motor, after which the 
fields are connected direct to the 
main circuit. 


Split-Phase Applied to Induction 
Meters. — The method in which the 
foregoing principles are directly ap- 
plied in the design of an induction 
meter is represented in Fig. 6. It will 
be noted that a single-phase alterna- 
ting-current circuit is employed, to 
which the field coils are connected in 
a special manner as described. 

The coils P and P' , which are 
wound with small wire, and an